Local government leadership key to increasing housing supply

CHA IMPACT 2017 showcased examples of leadership by local government to address housing affordability in New Zealand. Solutions across the housing affordability continuum are being demonstrated all over New Zealand.

In their conference presentations, we heard insights from Justin Lester, Mayor of Wellington; Mike Myers, NAHC Australia; Victoria Kingi, Papakainga Solutions; and Paul Cottam, Christchurch City Council. This article was written by Angie Cairncross of Community Housing Aotearoa.

Wellington shows local government leadership with diverse housing initiatives

“Stable housing is important – it sets up our platform for later life,” Wellington Mayor Justin Lester reminded us in his welcome address. “Every kid should have the same opportunities for the stability that good housing creates.”

Justin knows the difference it made in his own life and he wants to see that it’s there for others. Good, affordable housing is his focus for the leadership that Wellington City Council provides, and it was the consistent refrain he heard from Wellingtonians during his election campaign.

Justin wants to see hundreds, if not thousands, more homes built in Wellington over the next 10 years. He believes that if Wellington can show local leadership to address the housing affordability shortfalls, other local authorities can follow their example.

The Wellington Mayor’s Housing Taskforce wants to drive change through housing accords and housing growth; changes in planning for greater density; rate rebates for new home owners; restructuring housing and consents for a one-stop shop; increasing affordable rental stock; and BUILD Wellington, a new urban authority to create more developments, amongst other initiatives.

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