My vision is to drive active delivery of more housing and ensure more Wellingtonians can live in vibrant, attractive, walkable neighbourhoods, close to high quality public transport.
The first comprehensive review of the City District Plan in 22 years has just been completed, providing capacity for more than twice the number of houses expected to be needed over the next thirty years. The new plan broadly targets hosing intensification close to services and major public transport routes.
I promised at the last election that, as we planned for our growing city population, I would work with you to identify where change should happen and where the special places are that we want to protect. During some challenging debates I have done exactly that, working with and supporting communities anxious about protecting much valued character.
I’m a long term fan of an Urban Development Agency (UDA), something blocked by the previous Lester–Eagle leadership. A much greater housing delivery in the right locations can be ensured with the right design by being proactive in the market. This is essential for driving the development needed for Mass Transit to be viable and its benefits optimised.
As part of Let’s Get Wellington Moving discussions with Government Ministers, I have successfully pushed for a UDA. Work is now being done to establish an active delivery partnership, using powers under the Urban Development Act 2020. A really important part of that will be up front engagement with communities to help shape the future of these parts of our city.
A 15 year head lease has been taken on 350 affordable apartments under our Te Kainga programme, providing rental housing particularly for middle income critical workers.
Council’s Social Housing portfolio is currently losing $30,000 a day, projected to be $130,000 a day in ten years. The Lester-Eagle leadership knew that, but politically did not want to do anything about it. That hurt ratepayers and tenants and meant every new house just lost more money.
I’ve led discussions with Government to fix it.
With Government support, I’ve led the bold step of agreeing to establish a Community Housing Provider to operate Council Social Housing. Over time that will address the financial problems, give new tenants access to Income Related Rent Subsidies, and allow us to build much needed social housing in a way that is financially viable.
I will :
- Continue working with Government to establish a special urban development agency to proactively get more housing built. This could be by the UDA or by private development partners.
- Work to ensure Communities have the opportunity for genuine input into the way their place evolves.
- Complete the establishment of a new focused Community Housing Provider to build more affordable social housing
- Continue to advocate for Income Related Rents for all our current tenants, as well as new tenants.
- Continue working with Stride, owners of Johnsonville Mall, on their pending redevelopment plans. The Infrastructure Acceleration Proposal is in the final stages for funding support.