Govt pushes for low-cost housing - The Press: local, national & world news from Christchurch's daily newspaper

Govt pushes for low-cost housing - The Press: local, national & world news from Christchurch's daily newspaper: "Govt pushes for low-cost housing
31 October 2006

Reviving the Kiwi dream of home ownership may mean developers are forced to include affordable housing in their projects or pay for them to be built elsewhere.

Housing Minister Chris Carter yesterday outlined options designed to reverse New Zealand's trend from having one of the highest home- ownership rates in the world to where one-third of the population – more than in Australia, Britain or the United States – have to rent.
The options include increasing the stock of affordable housing by Government building programmes, joint construction ventures with community, church or iwi groups, and giving city and district councils the power to force or reward developers to include low-cost housing.
For Rebecca and Phil Washbourn, Christchurch house hunters who in July became the public face of the issue when The Press reported the impact of spiralling house prices on home ownership, the proposals generated a lukewarm response.
'I'd feel very hesitant about using Crown land for infill housing,' Rebecca Washbourn said. 'We need to have our green spaces for as long as we possibly can.'
The couple felt homes were no more or less affordable than they were in July.
Christchurch property developer Dave Henderson said Carter was threatening to intervene in the housing market when it was over- regulation by Labour and National governments that left Kiwis struggling to get in the housing market in the first place.
'I believe that if you eliminate the costs of all the delays associated with incompetent compliance and planning regimes, and the statutory environment that strangles the zoning of residential"

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