Costs outweigh benefits for Special Housing Area extension

Housing and Urban Development

The Government will not be extending the former government’s Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas legislation because it has failed to make housing more affordable, Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today.

The HASHAA legislation was established in 2013 as an interim measure until wider reforms to improve housing affordability took effect. It is set to expire on 16 September.

Phil Twyford said that although the law had increased housing supply in some areas, it had not led to more affordable housing.

“Research found that in some cases houses were 5 per cent more expensive inside Special Housing Areas than outside them.

“Our Government recently considered extending this legislation, but on balance, the benefits did not outweigh the costs.

“Therefore no new Special Housing Areas will be able to be established after 16 September this year. Those being set up before this time will have two years to have their consents fast-tracked. There will be no change to the consenting process for those Special Housing Areas which are already established.

“Our Government has a comprehensive plan to make housing more affordable by increasing land supply and fast-track residential construction.

“Councils in high growth areas also had access the $1 billion Housing Innovation Fund that provides 10 year interest free loans to build infrastructure needed for new housing.

“The Government is also setting up a housing and urban development authority to help fast-track urban development projects. It will have powers for land acquisition, planning and consenting,” Phil Twyford said.