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Affordable housing for the Queenstown region

14 July 2005

David Parker - MP for Otago

Affordable housing for the Queenstown region

Affordable housing for the Queenstown region is a key priority for employers, local and central government when grappling with the problem of Queenstown's labour shortage, says Otago MP David Parker.

Mr Parker today applauded the Queenstown Lakes District Council's Community Housing Strategy which was released yesterday.

He said at last affordable housing was in the spotlight as a key issue which must be tackled in order for Queenstown to grow in a manageable and sustainable way.

The strategy estimates that that, in round terms, between 2006 and 2016, up to 4,200 households may locate in the wider Queenstown area, and up to 1,300 households in the Wanaka area. These figures are based on a continuation of high growth rates.

Mr Parker said Queenstown would keep growing, with or without an affordable housing strategy.

"At least with this strategy it means people will be able to afford to live and work in Queenstown without enormous socio-economic disparities.

"One of the keys to an affordable housing strategy was for the Council to moderate land prices through appropriate sub-division of land that is not environmentally sensitive," he said.

The QLDC strategy aims to use planning mechanisms to facilitate the provision of high quality, affordable housing by the market place; use financial tools (including the resources of collaborative partners) to facilitate the provision of affordable housing, now and into the future; and establish a Community Housing Trust and develop a pilot project to deliver a range of rental and owner-occupied housing.

Mr Parker said he hoped the community would embrace the new strategy and that the business community would get behind the initiatives that required external funding.

"The QLDC strategy was partly funded by the New Zealand Government, through Housing New Zealand, and as the member for Otago I consider affordable housing to be a critical issue. I will take a keen interest in doing what I can to ensure that it is able to be implemented," said Mr Parker.

ENDS


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