Real Estate Institute, Rotorua mayor welcome Govt's housing plan but say more needs to be done

The Real Estate Institute is welcoming the Government's attempts to curb the housing crisis but warns it is only a part of the solution.

The Government announced the Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 on Thursday which laid how it will build the 6000 public and 2000 transitional housing places promised in last year's Budget.

Auckland is set to receive the bulk of them as the city worst hit by the crisis - with 2670 of the new public homes to be located there.

Real Estate Institute chief executive Bindi Norwell told Newshub she was happy with the announcement.

"It's fantastic to see they are taking the initiative to address the problem - the housing crisis," she said. "With increasing prices, we have got decreased affordability and a huge waitlist on public housing."

However, Norwell said she believes that more needs to be done to solve the housing crisis.

"We definitely need more state housing but we also need more housing just generally as well. In New Zealand, we have a huge housing deficit and I think it's estimated around 100,000 homes we need to build. So yes, this is part of the solution and I know they are taking it very seriously, however, they still need to build more houses at scale. This is just part of the solution going forward."

Bindi Norwell.
Bindi Norwell. Photo credit: File

She's urging the Government to "build to scale".

"We have seen them [the Government] build some houses. I think they estimate that there were around 4500 built in the last couple of years. But it's obviously not addressing it at the scale we need... It's really important now that we are building houses at scale and it's not only state houses."

The Government's plan also identifies eight focus areas around New Zealand with "communities of severe housing deprivation".

The Bay of Plenty is one of them and the Government is promising more than 1000 new homes. The boost will grow public and transitional housing in the region from almost 3000 places to close to 4000 by 2024.

Rotorua's Mayor Steve Chadwick said she welcomed the move to address the area's housing challenges. 

"It's a public statement of support for our public housing strategy [that] we worked on with Government... This is the next step and it's great. We certainly need some urgency with this."

Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick.
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick. Photo credit: The AM Show

She told Newshub that the council estimates there is a shortfall of 1700 homes in Rotorua and she's glad action is being taken now.

"It was good news that [the plan] came out yesterday, the pressure's been mounting. We have manifestly seen more homeless and also the cost of housing going up here and the shortage of housing for rentals. So supply has been a real problem for us."

Chadwick said while they don't know yet the number of houses Rotorua will get specifically, they plan to negotiate "our fair share" of the public and transitional housing planned for the Bay of Plenty.