Nelson City Council welcomes government investment in housing

23/03/2021 11:52am

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese says today’s announcement is a “game changer” for the Nelson region and its housing crisis, accelerating Nelson City Council’s relationship and action plan with government and developers.

In today’s announcement, the government recognised that Nelson is one of the regions that needs targeted support by lifting the price cap from 1 April on homes able to be purchased under the First Home Loans and First Home Grants scheme from $500,000 to $525,000 for existing homes and $500,000 to $600,000 for new builds.

 The income caps for the Government’s First Home Grants and First Home Loans will also be raised, allowing more potential first home buyers to access Government help with mortgages.

This announcement was part of a package aiming to increase housing supply, relieve pressure on the housing market, and tip the balance away from speculators and back towards first home buyers.

As part of the package, the government also launched a $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund that is designed to speed up the pace and scale of house building by funding the vital infrastructure needed for new housing for both greenfield and brownfield intensification.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese said this enables Council to support housing developments by ensuring infrastructure can be delivered in partnership with housing developers.
 
“A lack of affordable housing is one of the most significant challenges facing the Nelson region. Our housing market is consistently one of the least affordable in the country and with central government committing to working with us on this issue and acknowledging the complexities of increasing housing supply, there is now potential for a lasting solution.”
 
Today’s announcement also sees Kāinga Ora given the greenlight to borrow $2billion to build more affordable and state housing.
 
Urban Development Subcommittee Chair Deputy Mayor Judene Edgar said Council is standing by to work closely with Kāinga Ora on helping more Nelsonians get into their home.
 
With its $12m Housing Reserve, Council is well placed to partner with Kāinga Ora and to move quickly to ensure an increase of supply of affordable homes in Nelson.
 
“Council has made affordable housing a focus area and is committed to making a difference to improve the situation. We already have a strong working relationship with Kāinga Ora and today’s announcement will allow us to go further faster.”
 
Flow on benefits for the region from increasing housing supply for the construction and trades industries is expected and the government has acknowledged their crucial role in enabling more supply by extending the Apprenticeship Boost payment till August 2022.