The city is "going to fall short" of the more than 1600 new houses needed each year, according to the Tauranga City Council commissioner chair.
The comments come following SmartGrowth's approval of a new district-wide Housing Action Plan to address the housing crisis in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty.
On Monday, the SmartGrowth Leadership Group was joined by Ministers Megan Woods and Nanaia Mahuta for the quarterly meeting.
The key objectives highlighted were new housing across the board and reducing the gap between Māori and non-Māori housing outcomes.
New housing supply included public housing, assisted rentals and ownership, private rentals and ownership, and with various typologies and densities.
The plan had six key actions: accelerate priority development areas, increase public housing, reduce rental stress, realise Māori housing aspirations, provide up-to-date data, and make use of tools available across the joint agencies.
A SmartGrowth Housing Working Group will be set up to implement the plan and will be monitored by the SmartGrowth partners and regularly updated.
The Housing Action Plan document, a joint initiative between the SmartGrowth partners and the Central Government, showed more than 1600 new homes needed yearly to keep up with growth — 1226 in Tauranga and 420 in the Western Bay of Plenty.
An expected 35,400 dwellings are projected for the area in the next 30 years, according to the Urban Form and Transport Initiative.
The projected undersupply is 1000 in the next three years, and 6000 in the next decade if Te Tumu and Tauriko West are not opened.
The demand for housing is seen through rising hardships.
Emergency housing grants rose 1300 per cent in the last four years while 755 applicants are currently on the housing register.
This coincides with market rents up 75 per cent since 2010 and house prices up 107 per cent in that same time.
More than one in five households — 16,800 — are defined as "stressed" with more than 30 per cent of their income spent on housing.
The document highlighted a significant gap in affordable rentals, and a need to focus on delivering housing for the 9000 stressed renting households.
The most affected were single-parents, those on low incomes, the elderly, and Māori, Pasifika, and Asian New Zealanders.
Following the meeting, independent chairman Peter Winder said the actions outlined were a starting point for better coordination across the region.
He said SmartGrowth partners will now start talking to ratepayers and residents across the region about what this means for them.
Tauranga City Council Commission chairwoman Anne Tolley said "we're going to be falling short".
"We can't guarantee that constant, available land."
She said the problem was where the council relied on developers.
"We work with them, put in the infrastructure, charge development costs, but they control when that land is released."
She said they were currently in talks with Kāinga Ora about council-owned land to free up for high-density housing on the go, which she hoped would begin by Christmas.
"Everyone's sick of the planning, and we actually want to see houses being built."
She said all at the meeting agreed getting through the different processes took "too long".
"Even where we have a willing seller of the land, a willing purchaser who wants to develop, it can take years going through the process before you actually see a spade in the ground."
She said while there were projects currently happening around the city, it was still unknown when houses were expected to be built.
She said there were "plenty" of opportunities including the likes of Ōmokoroa, Te Puke and Te Tumu, which relied on help from the Central Government, NZTA and Kāinga Ora.
The real and immediate need involved working with Kāinga Ora to deliver affordable houses.
"Where we need a range of housing is in that $400 to $600,000 area, and that's difficult for the market to deliver, and means we're going to have to have intervention by the Government."
Western Bay of Plenty mayor Garry Webber said while it would be a "stretch," it was achievable.
He said the meeting involved talking about new areas for growth while houses in the Western Bay and Tauranga were being built "very quickly" in existing agreed areas.
"We have done enough analysis, it's now a matter of actually making some hard decisions and start building houses."
This would be a collaboration with the central and local government, and this intervention was essential to make houses affordable, he said.
"We've done enough talking, it's now time for action."
Classics Builders director Peter Cooney said the problem of supply was "compounding" and would continue to do so if the infrastructure wasn't there.
He said this led to the escalating house prices as the demand was not able to be matched.
He said 1000 new houses a year were possible to build but only if the land was zoned and the infrastructure was in the ground.
"Which we haven't got at the moment and that's causing us the problem."
The plan highlighted a lack of policy, intent, and clarity around the affordability, tenure, and typology of housing in priority development areas.
There was an intention to make use of existing and new tools, including how to use these in an innovative way, are needed for the increased provision of affordable homes.
This action plan was not setting out to replicate the housing initiatives already under way in the sub-region, the documents stated.