Govt progresses Auckland housing programme
Negotiations have concluded on three sites in Auckland, paving the way for the development of an estimated 740 new homes, Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.
The agreements are part of a programme announced in last year's Budget which aims to free up surplus Crown land to boost the supply of houses in Auckland.
"The successful conclusions of negotiations on purchasing these three sites, with a capacity for 740 homes, is a significant step forward for the programme," Dr Smith says.
"These three sites, along with the Moire Road development announced last year, have a combined capacity for about 940 homes. Nearly all of the $52.2 million allocated to the programme in Budget 2015 has now been expended to buy these four sites, with the cost of the individual sites being commercially sensitive."
The sites are:
· 1.85ha in Manukau Station Road intended for 600 apartments on which a sale and purchase agreement with the Auckland Council was signed on Friday. This site can be directly referred to the selected development panel as it not subject to either a right of first refusal or memorandum of understanding (MOU) with iwi. The programme aims to have a development agreement for the site signed later this year.
· 0.47ha in Mount Albert suitable for 60 townhouse apartments made up of nine parcels of land with mixed ownership by New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and a private landowner. The NZTA portion went unconditional earlier this month and the privately owned area was settled on Friday. This site, in New North Road, is subject to the protocol with the Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau Limited Partnership and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) intends to invite them to submit a development proposal in the next few weeks. The aim is to have an initial development agreement signed for this site by August.
· 0.91ha in Waterview suitable for 80 new homes which was previously administered by NZTA and leased to a boarding hostel. The agreement with NZTA for this Great North Road site has just settled. MBIE is in discussions with the boarding house over transitional arrangements for existing residents. This site is subject to the development protocol with the Limited Partnership and the intention is to invite them to submit a development proposal in June, with the aim of having an initial development agreement in place for the site by September.
Dr Smith says the Government is pleased to have reached these agreements following a thorough process to identify and assess the land to make it available for acquisition and development.
"This process is more complicated where there are tenants or multiple titles involving private land to make the optimum site for housing development.
"I expect the timeframe for delivering these homes to be similar to the successful programme in Christchurch involving three sites and 420 homes – about 18 months for the first homes to come on stream. Multi-storey apartment buildings are more complex and likely to take two years to complete. The development agreements on each site will set out requirements for the pace of development, the provision of social housing and target house price points.
"The answer to Auckland's housing supply and affordability problems is a wide range of inter-linked measures. Three of these four sites require Special Housing Area status to enable more homes to be built and at a greater pace. We are systematically tackling issues covering land supply, skills shortages, infrastructure provisions, financing for first-home buyers, taxation of investors, building material costs and emergency housing needs. We are achieving success, having lifted the house build rate in Auckland from 10 per working day to now over 40 per day but we will need to continue to accelerate that pace to the 50-60 per day required to meet demand," Dr Smith concluded.