1 Aug 2013

Auckland Council unclear if affordable housing in bill

8:35 am on 1 August 2013

Auckland Council says it's not yet clear that new housing accord legislation will require genuinely affordable homes to be built.

The Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill, reported back to Parliament on Wednesday, paves the way for the accord agreed in principle between the Government and Auckland Council to try to tackle a growing shortage of housing.

The council has signed a draft accord with the Government, under which it is intended to use fast-track planning processes in a bid to more than double home-building in Auckland.

The draft says building genuinely affordable homes, or homes for first-time buyers, could be a requirement of developments.

But the council says an initial reading of the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill shows nothing to support the affordability focus.

The council expects to have further discussion with the Government before the bill is passed into law and the final version of the accord signed.

Housing Minister Nick Smith says a contentious part of the bill remains, giving the Government the power to issue resource consents if an accord with a local body breaks down.

Dr Smith hopes the legislation can be passed and the accord with Auckland Council ratified during September.