Unaffordable Queenstown goes on the list for a Special Housing Area
May 9 (BusinessDesk) – The government may add Queenstown to its list of areas where it is working with local government to improve the supply and affordability of housing.
Housing Minister Nick Smith met today with Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden to discuss adding the district to the schedule under the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013, which would pave the way for a formal Housing Accord.
The government has agreed Housing Accords with Auckland and Christchurch and is in talks with Wellington and Bay of Plenty. Queenstown is one of the five least affordable housing areas in New Zealand, with a median house price of $664,000.
“Queenstown meets the thresholds of the Act and has significant affordability issues,” Smith said in a statement. “I want to discuss with the council whether they concur with that assessment and how we can improve housing in the district.”
Unique characteristics to the district include its difficult topography which means there is less easily developed land close to the town centre, many tourism and hospitality workers whose incomes are not high and a large number of holiday homes, he said.
A decision on adding Queenstown to the schedule of the Act will be made after considering the views of the local council and following consultation with the Cabinet, Smith said.