Accord means more houses

By Rebecca Savory

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Housing Minister Nick Smith and Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby sign the Tauranga Housing Accord in the Tauranga City Council chambers. Photo / Rebecca Savory
Housing Minister Nick Smith and Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby sign the Tauranga Housing Accord in the Tauranga City Council chambers. Photo / Rebecca Savory

A total of 1175 sections across Tauranga City and the Western Bay will be selected to be fast-tracked for new homes in the next two years after Housing Minister Nick Smith signed a new accord in the Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council chambers last night.

The accord aimed to address housing issues in the city by facilitating more housing, Mr Smith said.

"We're addressing the issue of supply. It's only by increasing supply that we're going to be able to move the affordability for housing."

The Government also had work underway on the cost of building materials, development contributions, building productivity and compliance costs to improve affordability nationwide.

Tauranga was chosen as a location for an accord after it was found to be the fourth least affordable city, he added.

Developers planned to build a range of sized and valued homes, Mayor Stuart Crosby said, adding that the accord would speed up a focus area already recognised by council.

"Tauranga City Council has been proactively working towards addressing housing affordability and supply issues through SmartGrowth for a number of years," he said.

"With the accord in place this now provides council with the ability to speed up the consenting process for areas where there is a clear demand for housing."

Council is looking at up to 40 sites but hopes to settle on eight to 10 to recommend to Government in the coming months.

Housing Accord

*1000 sections to be recommended across Tauranga in next two years.
*175 sections to be recommended across Western Bay in next two years.
*The median house price in Tauranga for 2013 is $367,500.
*Mortgage payment required to service median house exceeded 62.7 per cent median weekly take-home pay for an individual in Tauranga.
*The Western Bay of Plenty median house price in 2013 is $325,500.
*Mortgage payment required to service median house was 62.9 per cent of median weekly take-home pay for an individual in the Western Bay.
*Government hoped to get per cent of weekly take-home pay for an individual down to 50 per cent.
- Nick Smith

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