Housing Minister Nick Smith and Auckland Mayor Len Brown say Auckland is on track to exceed its first year target (9000 houses/sections) under the Auckland Housing Accord by almost 1300 dwellings/sections.
These numbers are given in the second joint Auckland Housing Accord Monitoring Report from Auckland Council and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). The Labour Party, however, says the new figures show the accord is looking more "shaky".
Under the terms of the Auckland Housing Accord approved between the Government and the Auckland Council, a total of 39,000 new homes/sections are targeted for approval over the next three years. Not all of those 39,000 have to be found specifically through the accord, as the figure includes all developments that might be approved in Auckland during that period.
The full details on all the 63 Special Housing Areas are available on the Auckland Council's website and can be accessed here.
The report covers the first six months of the Accord, from October 2013 to March 2014. It shows the net number of dwellings consented and sections created in Auckland is at 5134 halfway through the Accord’s first year – more than half the target of 9000. In addition, more new dwellings were consented (3,417) in this period than in any similar period since 2006.
Housing Minister Nick Smith said he was encouraged by the progress the Government is making together with the council.
"We are rezoning areas at an unprecedented pace and this will bring thousands of more homes on-stream. There are no instant or magic solutions to Auckland’s housing challenge but the latest figures confirm our land supply reforms are working."
He said the Government’s response to improving housing affordability was based on the substantive inquiry of the Productivity Commission in 2012.
The Accord mechanism was focused on the land supply issue but other reforms were underway to address the complementary issues of infrastructure, building materials, compliance costs and improving the skills and productivity of the building sector,” Smith said.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown said the latest report showed that the pace of building was picking up in Auckland, driven by strong demand, a buoyant economy, and supported by record processing times by the council’s consents team.
"I am delighted with the progress we are making in partnership with central government to identify Special Housing Areas and to bring forward new housing developments."
But Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford described the latest figures as "dismal" and said the housing accord was "looking more and more shaky".
"Twelve months after Nick Smith proudly promised Aucklanders 39,000 new homes he still hasn't built a single new home in the Special Housing Areas that people are living in and he isn’t expecting any for several months.
"Today's report shows the Minister is starting to back pedal. He is now predicting 529 fewer consents in the first year of the Accord than he was two months ago. No wonder he starting saying this week that meeting the targets of 13,000 and 17,000 for the next two years would be a ‘considerable stretch’, Twyford said.