The Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) has notified a proposal to amend the District Plan to require most new residential subdivisions and developments to pay an ‘affordable housing financial contribution’. This is a process called Inclusionary Housing (IH).
The philosophy behind IH is that when value uplift occurs through development – a social licence enabled through the Council planning process – then this should trigger a requirement that a set percentage of the development should be provided as affordable housing together with a retention mechanism in place to ensure housing affordability remains in perpetuity.
These new IH planning rules seek to formally establish a process that’s been happening in practice in the district since 2003.
The value received from these contributions (land or cash) is invested into QLCHT’s award-winning Secure Home scheme, or one of its affordable rental programmes. These properties form a housing stock which is held for the Queenstown Lakes District community in perpetuity.
Adoption of IH will go a long way towards securing enough land to reduce the number of households needing a home on QLCHT’s waiting list and achieving its goal of assisting 1000 households into secure healthy homes by 2038.
Since 2007, QLCHT has built and delivered a total of nine housing developments (129 homes) on land received through an inclusionary housing-type process, which along with other homes purchased, has helped 261 local households remain in the area. Further housing developments (totalling nearly 100 homes) are also underway at Hāwea and Arrowtown.
These households are locals with permanent residency or citizenship who are committed to the district. They meet all of QLCHTs basic eligibility criteria and are aspiring to put down roots here. Over half of the 1100 households on the current waiting list are families with children, and the rest are a mixture of couples, individuals and elderly residents.