Isaac Davison

Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

Doubts cast on housing deal's goals

Housing Minister Nick Smith. Photo / Glenn Taylor
Housing Minister Nick Smith. Photo / Glenn Taylor

Labour says the Government "does not have a dog's show" of reaching its goal of 39,000 new homes in Auckland in three years after a report appeared to show it would fall short of its first-year target by 2000 homes.

When the Auckland Housing Accord was signed in October, Housing Minister Nick Smith said the Government's agreement with Auckland Council would help build 9000 homes in the first year.

Dr Smith and Mayor Len Brown said on the release of an interim report on Monday that progress was good but more work was required.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment report showed 7176 dwelling consents were expected to be signed off by September.

Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford said that this showed National was falling short in its promises to build thousands of new homes.

But a spokeswoman for Dr Smith said that the goal set by Government and Auckland Council of 9000 homes took into account both dwellings consented and sections created by September.

She said the report predicted that as well as 7176 dwellings consented, 5156 sections would be created by September. This meant the goal of 9000 consents would be exceeded by 1800, once the total was adjusted for any overlap between new dwellings and sections. Not every dwelling required its own section because some were subdivisions or apartments.

Mr Twyford said Aucklanders had been "sold a lemon" because the accord gave no certainty about when the houses would be finished.

"How do we know a consented section will turn into a dwelling? It could take five years before a consented section is a house that someone can start living in.

"At the Manukau golf course, they're counting a consented dwelling in a place where people are still playing golf as we speak. It's not a house. It's a line on the map."

The report did not indicate how many houses would be finished in the first year under the accord.

Dr Smith's spokeswoman said the accord did not set specific timeframes for completing houses and this would depend on builders and developers.

- NZ Herald

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