10 Aug 2023

Queenstown affordable housing plan backed by council

7:52 pm on 10 August 2023
Snow on The Remarkables in Queenstown

Queestown, with the Remarkables in the background (file image). Photo: Christopher Hines

The Queenstown Lakes District Council has thrown its support behind a collaborative plan aimed to improve access to affordable housing.

The district needs roughly 3000 affordable homes and that is predicted to more than double by 2050.

Residents have resorted to sleeping in cars and overcrowded houses due to the lack of available rental housing this winter.

A joint housing action plan 2023-2028 was developed by the council, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Kāinga Ora, and Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust, and featured nine housing solutions.

The solutions include exploring public-private partnerships, providing incentives to developers to offer affordable housing, and buying and developing land, and supporting the trust's work.

The council voted unanimously to endorse the plan at a meeting on Thursday.

Mayor Glyn Lewers said the plan was a cohesive approach aimed to provide stable, quality and affordable housing.

"Given the complexity of housing issues, and the district's unique challenges, partnering with central government and the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust significantly widens what we're capable of addressing," Lewers said.

The Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust has more than 1000 eligible households on its waiting list.

Trust chief Executive Julie Scott said the demand for its housing services had only become stronger over winter.

"We've witnessed a growing need for both affordable rentals and entry-level housing to purchase, so we welcome the key actions within the Joint Housing Action Plan, which will assist in delivering a range of housing options for low-moderate income households living and working in our district," Scott said.

The plan's progress would be reported back to the council.

The other solutions from the include regularly monitoring key housing indicators, enabling affordable housing choices through legislative tools, focusing on rental solutions for the district's workforce in collaboration with the community, designing and implementing plans to guide the development or redevelopment of an area.

The plan will be presented next to the Grow Well Whaiora Governance Group for endorsement.

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