10 May 2014

Queenstown may enter Housing Accord

6:30 am on 10 May 2014

The Government is considering stepping in to make housing in Queenstown cheaper.

Housing affordability is a 'critical problem' for Queenstown.

Housing affordability is a 'critical problem' for Queenstown. Photo: PHOTO NZ

The district's mayor, Vanessa van Uden, said an intervention would be welcome, because the town has some of the highest house prices in the country and below-average wages.

Housing Minister Nick Smith said affordability is a critical problem in the town, partly because of high demand from relatively low-paid workers in the tourism industry.

Dr Smith held a meeting with the Queenstown Lakes District Council on Friday to discuss including the town in the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act.

The Act allows councils to accelerate building consent processes and offer incentives for faster housing development.