Nearly everyone has a view on the housing crisis
October 29 2018 by Julie Scott Executive Officer Queenstown Lakes Com
Nearly everyone has a view on the housing crisis and what can be done to combat the effects of it in our district. Opinions vary from those who suggest market forces will take care of the problem and we should leave it be, to those at the other end of the scale advocating for full intervention by Crown and Council. The Community Housing Trust was set up to support Queenstown Lakes residents into decent, affordable housing with secure tenure. We believe intervention is required and to this end, we have set the bold goal of assisting 1,000 households over the next ten years.
The Trust is in the fortunate position of having access to both local and central Government support, as well as being able to tap into funding from community trusts and private investors. The bulk of our capital comes via the inclusionary zoning process from developers who are having their land up-zoned – say from rural to residential. They receive significant value in this rezoning process, and in return they are required to share some of this value with the community through contributions to the Trust.
So what do we do with these land/cash contributions you ask? Quite simply, we turn them into homes for committed locals. We run a range of programmes including affordable rentals, rent-to-buy, and assisted ownership. We’re currently developing a new programme called Secure Home. Based on a leasehold structure, a household will be able to buy into a property at the cost of house construction. They will then pay a very low ground rent on the land. Our modelling shows that a Secure Home property will cost a typical household the same or less than current market rent. A bit of a no-brainer when you think about it.
To keep it affordable for the next household, the resale price will be capped with inflation. This means households get all the privileges of home ownership except the ability to make large capital gains. We see it as a nest – not a nest egg. Our first Secure Home properties will be piloted early next year in homes currently being built in Shotover Country.
With nearly 600 households on our waiting list, we have no shortage of local singles, couples and families seeking some form of housing assistance. Our challenge is to scale up the Trust to help them all – plus the others who haven’t registered with us yet. We believe access to decent, secure, affordable housing is a basic human right. We want the Queenstown Lakes to be a vibrant, diverse and inclusive community where everyone can afford to live at a cost within their means.
Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust
Housing Affordability is always a hot topic (whether that’s rental or ownership) in the community. Recently new data has been issued which supports Julie Scott’s Editorial. The Rental and Housing Fact Box can be found on page 16