21 May 2015

Crown land for housing being assessed

12:30 pm on 21 May 2015

Work has begun assessing the suitability of Crown owned land in Auckland the Government hopes can be used for thousands of homes.

The Government says up to 430 hectares of surplus public land controlled by a range of agencies such as defence, education and transport could be used to help tackle the city's housing shortage.

Higher density and townhouse developments are part of Housing New Zealand's new Auckland focus

The government would buy the land from the agency that owned it and recoup the costs after it had been developed. Photo: RNZ / Todd Niall

The Government will not yet identify the properties but school land in the west Auckland suburb of Massey is understood to be one option.

Auckland Council's housing project office is working with the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment on assessing Crown land.

Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith says the development of some land could follow the model of the Awatea project in Christchurch, where Fletcher Residential will build more than 230 homes, with 40 percent targeted as affordable, including some available to low income families in a shared equity scheme.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party is claiming credit for the initiative.

Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said a stock-take of public land suitable for housing was announced in 2008 by then Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark.

"All Nick Smith's officials have done in the last few weeks is they've gone and dusted that off and updated it."

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