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QLDC media advisory - housing taskforce

QLDC media advisory - housing taskforce

A Housing Taskforce formed by Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult will meet for the first time on Monday.

Its brief is to investigate new ways of addressing housing availability and affordability in the district – particularly the Wakatipu – with an emphasis on the needs of families and long-term residents.

Mr Boult said the housing squeeze was not a new issue for Queenstown, but the situation had been made more complicated by the attraction of higher returns property owners could obtain from renting their houses to visitors rather than letting them to long-term tenants.

“Finding ways to put families into houses is our main focus.”

When families were unable to find affordable accommodation with secure tenure, either by buying or renting, it had a deep impact on the whole community. “Families are under financial stress when they can’t find an affordable place to live, and one of the flow-on effects is that employers are having difficulty attracting permanent staff.”

Mr Boult said the taskforce would be focusing on finding solutions, rather than fixating on defining the problem. “We know what the problem is, and we understand what the causes are. I am keen that we spend our time looking for solutions.”

The taskforce would also consider the needs of itinerant workers, who were also having difficulty finding accommodation, especially during the summer and winter peaks.

“There are several proposals on the table for accommodation similar to student halls of residence, which would go some way to address the needs of itinerant workers,” Mr Boult said.

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