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October, 2017

Queenstowns Mayoral Housing Affordability Taskforce has presented its
report to the district council, ready to be discussed at the next council
meeting this month.
Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult formed the Taskforce earlier
this year to investigate ways of addressing housing availability and
affordability across the district, with an emphasis on the needs of key
workers, families and long term residents.
The taskforce report presents six recommendations, all aimed at
addressing the supply and affordability of housing, while offering
families and workers security of tenure and the ability to buy into New
Zealands least affordable housing market. The Taskforce has done a
magnificent job in a relatively short amount of time. I am delighted to
see such a range of aspirational but practical solutions to our districts
housing issues and I will be urging the Council to accept the report,
said Mayor Boult.
Queenstown Lakes District Councillor and Taskforce Chair, John
MacDonald is excited about the report and hopes his fellow councillors
will vote to adopt its recommendations in full.
While were all lucky to be able to call this place home, buying into
the market is almost impossible for many residents. Weve taken a fresh
approach to the idea of home ownership and have some really forward-
focused recommendations that will help people to find quality long
term rentals or get into their own home, while creating a community
housing asset that will exist for many years to come.
Sitting by and hoping the housing market will develop a solution of its
own simply hasnt worked and we need to take action to ensure we
continue to have a balanced community to call our own. People have
already been forced out of our district by the lack of secure, quality,
affordable housing and we want to do whatever we can to ensure this
doesnt continue.
The taskforce recommendations include building a portfolio of secure
long-term rental options, changes to visitor accommodation such as
Airbnb, changes to zoning and intensification regulations, addressing
household income support with central Government and building a long-
term housing strategy for the district with a stronger, scaled up
Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust (QLCHT).
Further, in what could be a national first, the taskforce is
recommending a Secure Homes scheme that sees home and land
separated so people on lower incomes can afford to buy a home whilst
renting the land it sits on in perpetuity. While the land would be owned
by the QLCHT, the home would be owned by the home owner and any
market-value increase of the home would be capped, allowing others in
a similar financial position the ability to buy the house if it was sold in
the future.
Mr. MacDonald explains that this approach would be used across the
district with the aim of having 1,000 affordable homes available for use
by 2028. We want to create an asset owned by the community
designed solely for the purpose of ensuring there continues to be a
vibrant local presence in the district. If house prices continue to move
the way they have been there simply is no way the people we need to
run our district will be able to afford to live here, and that will have
huge implications for the sense of community that is so crucial to
making this a great place to work, live and visit.
One thing the Taskforce is at pains to avoid is any impact on existing
land owners property values. Were exploring new models of home
ownership and secure accommodation, without affecting the current
market and those who have already invested in it.
QLCHT trustee and Taskforce member Stephen Brent believes there is
real potential to strengthen the Trusts relationship with QLDC and
progress the proposals listed in the Taskforces report.
Mr Brent said, The Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust has
been involved right from the start of the Taskforces creation and counts
two of our members as part of the Taskforce itself. Were really positive
about the options being put forward.


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