A petition for urgent emergency housing signed by more than 200 people will be up for debate at the next Tauranga City Council meeting.

Tauranga Labour Electorate Committee chairman, Neville Lowry, presented the petition to deputy mayor Kelvin Clout yesterday.

Cr Clout congratulated the chairman on the signatures and said they were well aware emergency housing was an issue.

Although it was a central government issue, they would assist with building consents, said Mr Clout.


They were working with developers on at least eight Special Housing Areas and would continue to be active in opening up new land.

Mr Lowry said he was grateful for the chance to present the petition because the housing problem was a health and safety issue.

A formal response from the council would come after the petition was presented at the next council meeting.

Why the fund?

* Housing Minister Nick Smith said a major barrier to greenfield development was infrastructure cost.

* The councils eligible to access the $1 billion infrastructure fund are Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Christchurch and Queenstown - cities predicted to have more than 10 per cent population growth in the next 10 years.

* Charging an extra rate on unimproved land as a disincentive to land banking is also a possibility.

* The fund will own or finance the infrastructure until the councils receive rates revenue from the new houses.