Hamilton housing crisis: More land needed - Mayor


Hamilton's Mayor Andrew King says his city's housing crisis is more than just too few homes.

"The shortage of land is the problem, not the shortage of houses. The shortage of land is creating the shortage of houses," he says.

National and Labour have announced social and affordable housing schemes for the city. Mr King says the council has applied for a Government loan to purchase more space. He says they'll also look to re-purpose industrial land.

On Friday Labour announced a plan to build 200 affordable houses and state houses on unused Government-owned land.

"We will build new houses to replace the abandoned state houses at Jebson Place and on the site of other run-down state houses, as well as new developments. It's a disgrace that National has left this site rot for years on end in the middle of a housing crisis," leader Andrew Little says.

"Labour will work with Hamilton Council and Waikato Tainui, who have the right of first refusal on these blocks of land. I know the Council and Tainui are both committed to more affordable housing; it's time the Government played its part, too.

"We'll do that by building affordable homes for first homebuyers, cracking down on speculators who use our houses as gambling chips, and building state houses for families in need," Mr Little says.

Meanwhile, Social Housing Minister Amy Adams has announced a plan to build 43 new two-bedroom houses in Hamilton by the end of July.

"Around 70 per cent of the people on the social housing register for Hamilton need a one- or two-bedroom home. However, these homes make up only 50 percent of Housing New Zealand's Hamilton portfolio.

"It makes sense to build the new two-bedroom homes on underutilised sections where this is practical. There's no need to subdivide the sections, which means the new homes are very cost-effective and provide the taxpayer with great value-for-money."