The government have announced a major Housing Acceleration Fund that has the potential to help councils fund the infrastructure to support new housing developments.
“What we were hoping for today,” says Rob McCann KCDC Housing Portfolio holder, “was an announcement that would make a practical difference to increasing the supply of new housing.”
“The government has acknowledged that local government have a crucial role to play in increasing housing supply, and that the responsibility of councils to fund infrastructure required for these developments can significantly slow down new development. That means the roads, the pipes and other infrastructure.”
Today the Prime Minister has announced a new $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund that councils such as Kāpiti Coast District Council could be able to access.
“This fund has the potential to speed up the pace and scale of house building,” says Cr McCann.
“The Housing Minister Megan Woods noted the fund will be on a contestable basis, with the criteria yet to be finalized but that it will require some commitments (which may or may not be monetary) from third parties.
“What they fundamentally want to see from councils,” says Cr McCann, “is a commitment to increasing housing supply.”
Cabinet will consider the details of the fund in June, and they expect to see the first of the money being granted to councils in the second half of this year.
This fund will also apply to land that government owns, which means that organisations like Kāinga Ora will potentially be able to speed up their housing programme.
“This is fantastic news. The challenge is to ensure that our council is in a position to take advantage of the fund and accelerate potential developments,” says Rob McCann. “$3.8 billion could very quickly be allocated to councils who are progressing faster than KCDC, or have more established housing programmes. Therefore I will be doing everything I can to encourage our council to move with as much sensible haste as possible.”
“The fund could also significantly increase the opportunity for iwi to develop land they own with Iwi often being asset rich but without the financial means to develop land. This fund could provide a much needed pathway for much faster development.”
“The other piece of news that will excite ratepayers is that the fund is not a loan, but rather cash grants. That means councils can do more for less. That is a fantastic result.”
The government also announced:
- More Kiwis able to access First Home Grants and Loans with increased income caps and higher house price caps in targeted areas
- Bright-line test doubled to 10 years with an exemption to incentivise new builds
- Interest deductibility loophole removed for future investors and phased out on existing residential investments
- Govt to support Kāinga Ora to borrow $2 billion extra to scale up at pace land acquisition to boost housing supply
- Apprenticeship Boost initiative extended to further support trades and trades training