8 Dec 2015

Wellington's new-build housing target missed

1:50 pm on 8 December 2015

Wellington City Council has fallen short of its target for building new homes this year.

The council last year signed a housing accord which aimed to get 1000 new consents for dwellings and sections issued in the first year and 1500 annually in the following four years.

But a report to the council's Transport and Urban Development Committee shows just 837 consents went through in the first year.

The accord, between Wellington City Council and the government, aimed to increase housing supply and improve affordability of homes in the city by allowing the council to speed up planning and consenting processes.

Committee chairman Andy Foster said the targets were ambitious and would be hard to reach and maintain.

"In Wellington City, I think the highest ever [number of consents] reached in a 12-month period has been about 1300. So to exceed that four years straight is going to be a very big ask," he said.

"It would be fair to say originally the Minister [of Housing] wanted a much higher target and we, the council, said 'well it's never going to meet the target. That's just impossible. Let's have a target we have actually the vaguest chances of meeting'," he said.

The targets were reliant on people wanting to build residential developments for people who wanted to buy them.

"If those two factors aren't there, then council can put whatever number it likes, the government can put whatever number it likes and it's not going to make a difference," he said.

The report also showed 172 consents were issued within the city's 21 Special Housing Areas (SHA), well behind the target of 320 for this year.

Mr Foster said while the SHAs made it easier to build and develop, they were probably less relevant in Wellington than in Auckland.

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