Wellington is being promised the biggest reform of the city's housing policies seen "in decades".

Council forecasts show up to 80,000 extra people will call Wellington their home by 2043. Around 40,000 extra houses will be needed to meet that projected population growth.

The Mayor's Housing Taskforce has now set out a list of changes, which include partnering with the Government and community housing sector to develop new land, incentivising affordable housing developments, increasing building height limits, simplifying consents, and raising rental standards.

City councillors today unanimously voted in favour of the changes, in front of a packed public gallery.


Mayor Justin Lester said the changes wouldn't be easy, but they were needed to make sure every Wellingtonian would be housed.

"Wellington is growing strongly, and we need to make sure we are providing opportunities for new homes to match that growth.

"That's why we've spent months working with experts from the construction industry, NGOs, academics and social housing providers on a comprehensive plan to tackle housing in Wellington.

"It has three main components. First, there will be greater leadership from the council.

"We're not going to sit on the sidelines and leave it to the market.

"We're going to be more involved by directly building new homes, setting better standards and looking at changes to rating, procurement and development policies to incentivise more development.

"Second, we want to partner with central government to free up more land and develop more social housing, especially for the homeless and those in need.

"Finally, we want to work closer with NGOs, community housing providers and developers, especially on increasing social housing."


The plans now need to be included in the first draft of the 10 year budget, in the Long Term Plan.

Wellington City Council housing changes approved today
• Release council land for development
• Refurbish central city buildings into affordable apartments
• Review the council's procurement policy to promote home building
• Simplify consenting by introducing a one-stop shop approach
• Develop pre-approved designs to speed up consenting
• Create a new partnership with central government to boost social housing numbers
• Notify District Plan changes to encourage greater housing density and raise height limits
• Deliver Te Whare Oki Oki - a supported living facility for homeless Wellingtonians
• Create more tenancy support to get rough sleepers into long-term accommodation
• Deliver direct investment in new social and affordable homes
• Work with WREDA to increase the number of skilled construction workers available to meet demand
• Create a development pipeline of greenfield land for new homes
• Develop a Wellington-specific housing standard for rental properties
• Help homeowners to bring houses up to the standard through a new grant.