Nelson Housing Accord
Both the Government and Nelson City Council are concerned about the supply of housing in New Zealand, particularly in the faster growing areas, like Nelson.
The Government response: Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act
In response to this issue, the Government has developed a package of policy initiatives. One of these is to increase the supply of land available for residential development.
To increase land supply, it passed the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013 (the Act). The purpose of the Act is to enhance housing affordability by facilitating an increase in land and housing supply in certain regions or districts (including Nelson) identified as having housing supply and affordability issues. The Act is due to be repealed by the Government in September 2016.
A Housing Accord is an agreement between the Government and a council to work together to address housing supply and affordability issues in a city or district. The Act states that a Housing Accord must be in writing, must set out agreed targets and define how the parties will work together to achieve the purposes of the Act.
Nelson City Council signed a Housing Accord with the Government in June 2015. It set a target of consenting 720 new dwellings over the next three years.
This Accord is a tool to facilitate development aligned with the Council's policy and regulatory framework including the Nelson Resource Management Plan and the Long Term Plan. This framework includes initiatives to:
- Enable a mix of housing types
- Encourage developers through a package of incentives to prepare their land and build houses more quickly than has been the case over the last three years. (Note: developers do not necessarily build houses but the generic term “developers” in the Accord is also intended to cover housing companies.)
- Increase developer confidence in the Council to encourage a more collaborative approach between the Council and developers that results in a commitment to bring a continuous supply of land and houses to the market over the long term.
- Better align public infrastructure investment and private sector housing development.
The Council will work collaboratively with the Tasman District Council should any areas for potential housing development be identified by either Council across territorial boundaries or be serviced by infrastructure from the other Council.
How long will the Nelson Housing Accord be in place?
The Nelson Housing Accord was signed by Nelson City Council and the Minister of Housing on 11 June 2015 and is expected to remain in place until September 2016 when the Act is due to be repealed..