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Queenstown added to Housing Accord legislation

Queenstown added to Housing Accord legislation

Queenstown is the latest district to be added to legislation that will enable the council and the Government to work more closely together on housing supply and affordability, Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.

“This is a positive step which follows on from the productive meeting I had last month with Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden. Queenstown has a median house price of $664,000 and the district is one of the five least affordable housing areas in the country. I am keen to explore how we can address these challenges through a collaborative approach between the council and the Government,” Dr Smith says.

The Housing Accords and Special Areas Act 2013 allows for districts with significant housing affordability issues to be scheduled, and for the local council and the Government to subsequently enter into formal negotiation of a Housing Accord. The Government has already agreed Accords with councils in Auckland and Christchurch, and negotiations are currently underway with Wellington and Bay of Plenty.

“We have seen good progress made under the Auckland Housing Accord, which has a focus on fast-tracking housing developments. However, the housing issues in each city are different and there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the Accords.

“Queenstown is unique in the high number of homes that are owned for holiday purposes and the high demand from people working in the tourism and hospitality industries who tend to be on lower incomes. There is also little land close to the town centre that can be easily developed for housing.

“These are some of the issues that will need to be carefully considered as the council and Government develops a Housing Accord to improve affordability in the Queenstown Lakes District,” Dr Smith says.


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