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Urban Development Authority a long overdue initiative

Setting up an Urban Development Authority with powers to get houses built faster in Auckland “is a long overdue initiative,” says Auckland Business Chamber head Michael Barnett.

He was welcoming Housing Minister Phil Twyford’s confirmation that he would be taking a proposal to Cabinet ‘very soon’ to establish a special purpose urban development authority (UDA) with planning and consenting powers to override Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan in a bid to lift the pace and number of new houses being built in the city.

For the past five years Auckland has needed to build 14,000 to 15,000 new houses annually to keep pace with demand, but the most it has managed was around 13,000 consents in the year to July.

“We are currently around 55,000 houses short. An authority that can speed up the delivery of the new houses Auckland desperately needs has been in the pipeline since the Government came to power last year,” noted Barnett.

With Government needing legislation to establish the UDA, Barnett said this should be put through Parliament under urgency to ensure the Authority is up and running by the end of the year. “Time is ticking.”

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