7000 new homes for Capital

Wellington will see the construction of up to 7000 new homes fast-tracked in the next five years, the government and city council have announced.

Housing Minister Nick Smith and Mayor Celia Wade-Brown have today sign a proposed Housing Accord in Churton Park, which Wellington City Council will ratify on Thursday.

The accord sets a target of 7000 new homes to be built over five years and enables the council to fast-track consents within designated areas, yet to be decided.

The accord will ramp up building to meet demand and improve affordability.

Wellington has built roughly 750 houses a year for the last decade or so. Housing affordability has decreased, with the average home costing 5.5 times the median income. The Government's target is to bring that figure down nationwide to 4.

Smith said neither the Government nor the council thought this was good enough.

"The target for the first year of the accord is 1000, with 1500 in each of the next four years."

Wade-Brown said the houses would be built across a mix of green field expansion, infill and inner-city development. 

Exact sites had not been determined and would be subject to consultation, but six were being scoped out.

Developers will be required, when taking advantage of the fast-tracked consenting, to make a certain number of their properties affordable.

Wade-Brown said a range of different provisions and incentives to produce affordable good-quality houses would be considered.

"We need scale, we need speed, we need them to be affordable over their life, not just on day one of being sold."

Smith said affordability would be improved by increasing the supply of housing and by requiring developers, through agreement with council, to provide affordable houses in return for accessing faster consents.

The Dominion Post