Homes at Hobsonville Point for $485,000 or less will be “more affordable,” says Heatley

Press Release – NZ Government
Hundreds of new houses are to be built at Hobsonville Point as part of the Government’s moves to bring more affordable new housing on to the market, Housing Minister Phil Heatley announced today.

The Hobsonville Point development complements a number of other Government housing initiatives. These include increased investment in social housing; reconfiguration of the $15 billion state housing portfolio to better meet need; $2 billion a year in subsidies such as the Accommodation Supplement; and measures in response to the Productivity Commission report on improving housing affordability, Mr Heatley says.

“This initiative will both add to Auckland’s housing supply, and demonstrate innovative commercial market-based solutions that could be replicated in the affordable housing market elsewhere in New Zealand.

“Twenty per cent of the 2500-3000 new homes at Hobsonville Point will be priced at $485,000 or less. This means 500 to 600 more affordable homes will be built in this Auckland development alone,” he says.

“The Hobsonville Land Company, a subsidiary of Housing New Zealand, will introduce a simple scheme to prioritise home-ownership access to some of the houses.”

Under the inflation-indexed targets, of all homes built at Hobsonville Point:

· 10 per cent will be sold for less than $400,000

· a further 10 per cent will be priced between $400,000 and $485,000.

“It’s generally understood that these price ranges are considered more affordable in the Auckland context,” Mr Heatley says.

Mr Heatley says it is up to the company how it achieves the targets in a commercial development environment. The Hobsonville Land Company will release further details about the home-ownership access scheme when they become available.

The Government has also provided the company with greater flexibility around accelerating development in order to bring more supply to the market faster.

Mr Heatley says that the Government and the company have clear expectations of the development’s value.

“To protect taxpayers, the project’s lifespan will be determined by market conditions and the need to achieve a reasonable rate of return on the taxpayer’s investment.”

He says the Auckland Council has been very supportive of the innovation needed to build more affordable houses at Hobsonville Point.

“Their positive involvement has been critical. The council and the company are also working together on a demonstration project for smaller houses on smaller sections to show their commercial viability and market appeal,” he says.

Press Release – Auckland Council
The Auckland Council is to investigate opportunities for innovative housing forms and section sizes to enable the provision of more affordable homes in a pilot programme at Hobsonville Point.

It has been announced that 20 per cent or 500 to 600 new homes at Hobsonville Point will be sold for less than $485,000 over the coming decade.

Auckland’s Deputy Mayor says Auckland Council is working closely with the government and the Hobsonville Land Company (HLC), the developer of Hobsonville Point, to promote innovation in section size and building design.

“Hobsonville Point is a high quality development with the potential to offer commercial solutions to meet the challenge of housing availability and affordability in Auckland,” says Penny Hulse.

“The key to meeting Auckland’s future housing needs is providing a greater range of quality housing choices for people at all stages of life, and this pilot project will show the commercial viability and market appeal of smaller houses on smaller sections.

“To facilitate some of the housing types envisaged as part of Hobsonville Point’s affordable housing programme, the council is working hard to ensure that zoning and other regulations support opportunities for innovation.

“The development as a whole will add a welcome supply of new homes in Auckland’s north-west. The news that the HLC has targets of 10 per cent of homes for a market price of less than $485,000 and another 10 per cent at less than $400,000 is very welcome.”

The affordable housing targets will be indexed to inflation.

Penny Hulse says partnership between central and local government, as well as the commercial property sector, is crucial to address Auckland’s housing issues.

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