Getting Housing Done for Wellington

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 we expect to need over the next thirty years.

I’m a fan of an Urban Development Agency, 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.

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. We’ve taken the brave step, with Government support, 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 :

  • Complete the establishment of a new focused Community Housing Provider to provide more, affordable social housing
  • Continue to advocate for Income Related Rents for all our current tenants, as well as new tenants.
  • Continue working with Government to establish a special urban development agency to proactively get more housing built. This could be by both the UDA or by private development partners.
  • Work to ensure Communities have the opportunity for genuine input into the way their place evolves.