13 Jun 2015

Govt housing development fast-tracked

8:05 pm on 13 June 2015

The Government is fast-tracking the building of new homes in an Auckland development area.

Nick Smith at a housing development in Three Kings in Auckland.

Nick Smith at a housing development in Three Kings in Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith announced this afternoon that a thousand new homes will be built at Hobsonville Point two years sooner than originally planned.

A subsidiary of Housing New Zealand is developing 167 hectares of former Defence Force land into more than 3,000 homes.

It is now intended that a third of them will be ready from 2017 rather than 2019.

Dr Smith said this was the best that could be realistically done to come up with quality housing, and that his job was to make sure this lag time is as short as possible.

He also said the share of affordable homes in those areas is going up from 20 percent.

"Thirty percent of those are going to be in the starter home bracket. It's the homes that are in that bracket that is affordable for families is so critical."

Dr Smith added, however, that the maximum price of the affordable homes will rise from $485,000 to $550,000, for which he blamed rising construction costs.

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