Finally a great housing package

Chris Bishop has announced changes to housing laws which will make a huge difference to housing affordability. Almost every expert has said that to reduce pressure on house prices you need to both build up and build out. The NIMBYs oppose building up and the Greenies opposes building out. Phil Rayford in 2017 had some great policies, but backed away from many of them in Government. Chris Bishop in six months is setting a cracking reform pace. Key details are:

  • New Housing Growth Targets introduced for Tier 1 and 2 councils, requiring them to enable 30 years of feasible housing capacity in their district plans, using ‘high’ population growth projections.
  • New requirement that ‘price indicators’ (such as the difference in the price between land zoned for rural and urban use) do not deteriorate over time.
  • Councils prohibited from imposing rural-urban boundary lines in planning documents (but can still have rurally zoned land).
  • Tier 1 councils must deliver housing intensification along ‘strategic transport corridors’ (e.g. key bus routes).
  • Tier 1 councils must directly offset any housing capacity lost due to reasons such as ‘special character’ elsewhere.
  • Councils cannot set minimum floor area requirements for apartments and other houses, or require balconies.

Currently Councils just have to zone for immediate use three years of growth, and can choose low growth scenarios. By requiring them to zone for 30 years of high growth will mean a significant amount of new land made available.

The removing of the ability to set minimum sizes and balcony requirements will also make a real difference – some have said reduce apartment costs by $70,000 or so just for the balcony. Of course many developers will choose to still have balconies, but they can follow where the market demand is.

Comments (93)

Login to comment or vote

Add a Comment