26 Nov 2015

Only 500 homes built under Auckland Housing Accord

9:16 am on 26 November 2015

Only 500 houses have been built in Auckland's special housing areas, despite the Auckland Housing Accord staying ahead of its consents target.

Housing Minister Nick Smith (left) and Auckland Mayor Len Brown, speaking about the latest Housing Accord update.

Housing Minister Nick Smith (left) and Auckland Mayor Len Brown, speaking about the latest Housing Accord update. Photo: RNZ / Anusha Bradley

The Auckland Council said that since the Auckland Housing Accord was launched two years ago, 1226 dwellings in special housing areas (SHAs) have received building consents and 500 are complete.

But Auckland Mayor Len Brown and Housing Minister Nick Smith said yesterday it would be a "challenge" to reach its final target of 39,000 consents in the next year. Both, however, said they were still confident it could be done.

Dr Smith said that counting building consents was a better gauge of progress than counting buildings constructed.

"We have counted building consents as being the reliable measure of the amount of housing activity that has gone on since Adam was a cowboy.

"We know it's a reliable figure because when we take the data between Census we know it's within 1 percent of the number of houses that are actually constructed," Dr Smith told RNZ.

Part of a housing development in the Tamaki area in Auckland.

Part of a housing development in the Tamaki area in Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Yesterday, Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said Dr Smith had previously always refused to say how many homes had been finished, because the number fell pitifully short of the 13,000 new homes Auckland needed each year.

"The Housing Minister today told media 500 houses have been built in his SHAs," Mr Twyford said in a statement.

"This is despite him saying for the past two years that it was impossible to know how many had been built in the designated areas because the information wasn't recorded."

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