The announcement by the Honourable Nick Smith today regarding a major new funding stream to boost the potential for affordable housing in the Queenstown Lakes District has been applauded by QLDC Mayor Jim Boult.
"It's a bold commitment on the part of Central Government that enables us to establish the infrastructure proactively to potentially develop up to 3000 new houses. That's got to be good news," Mayor Boult said.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council confirmed in April that it had prepared a case to apply to the fund for a multi-million dollar loan. Council highlighted a number of infrastructure options that could benefit from the new funding stream. Mr Smith announced today that QLDC could draw on up to $50 million to support investment in the community.
"I want to stress what we have previously said in regard to this fund, it opens the door to supporting further consideration of development in the area but it doesn’t pre-empt any process that will need to be gone through with the community before any development proceeds. There are still important conversations to be had with the community and I site Ladies Mile as an example of that."
Should development in the areas outlined in the Council's application come to fruition, the HIF fund would give Council the ability to get ahead of the game without creating a burden for ratepayers. Any government loan would be recouped through developer contributions.
"We are continuing to see Government acknowledge and respond to the unique issues faced by growth areas like ours.
The recognition that success can only lie in a partnering approach between us is an incredibly positive indication of local and central governments growing collaboration. I can only applaud this approach," Mayor Boult said.