Minister of Housing and Building, Nick Smith, announced a $1.2 billion dollar Three Kings housing project for Auckland today.
He says it will help address the supply of housing and demand for it that have sparked the housing crisis here in Auckland.
However, legal challenges for the project are still going through the Environment Court.
“Māori in Auckland are facing all the same problems as everyone else. That is, there are insufficient houses and that’s driving up prices and causing problems with overcrowding,” says Smith.
Although the prospects for the project are encouraging, the reality is that it's been before the Environment Court for the past 8 years.
Smith says, “There is the potential of housing 4,000 people on a key transport link close to the city. As yet it is bogged down in drawn out resource management processes and that is why the government has made the unusual decision to join those proceedings to support the Auckland council and Fletcher Residential to get these houses built.”
The average cost of buying a house in Auckland is close to one million dollars. But the Minister estimated the prices for houses in this project would be between $1.2 million to $2 million dollars.
“The government wants to pull every lever at its disposal to be able to increase housing supply in Auckland. We see supply is key to improving both the affordability and dealing with the issues with overcrowding,” says Smith.
The Minister foresees the project being completed by 2024 if the resource management consents are granted by the Environment Court this year.