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  • Writer's pictureDr Jenny Condie

Lester's "do something" plan for housing

Media release 12 August 2019 - for immediate release

Candidate for mayor and northern ward of Wellington City Council, Dr Jenny Condie today called Justin Lester’s housing plan a “do something” plan.

“Often politicians see a problem and think: “We must do something about this!” Sadly, it doesn’t always seem to matter if what they propose to do will actually work to solve the problem,” Dr Condie said.

“Lester proposes to spend ratepayers’ money on a plan that will do nothing to improve housing affordability except for the lucky few who gain rent subsidies. Council must try to avoid adding to rates, which hit people on fixed incomes hardest,” Dr Condie said.

The key role of Council is in zoning land for development and providing the infrastructure where and when it is needed to support that development. This is the best way that Council can increase the supply of housing in Wellington.

“I support the evidence-based approach which the Productivity Commission set out in their Better Urban Planning report - increasing housing supply through changing land zoning, creating more flexible planning rules, and delivering necessary infrastructure,” Dr Condie said.

The Productivity Commission report also encouraged high-growth councils “to assemble and develop inner-city land at a scale sufficient to meet business, residential and mobility needs.” This could be done using the new powers of the Ministry for Housing and Urban Development to create partnerships between Wellington City Council, property developers and central government to deliver high density housing. Significant investment in low rise apartments around suburban centres, such as Johnsonville, Karori, Newtown, and Kilbirnie would be consistent with what Wellingtonians told us they wanted in their submissions on Planning for Growth.

“Public private partnerships can deliver affordable housing for everyone who needs it - those who rely on social housing, renters, and owner-occupiers.”

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