Key Facts

  • Horowhenua, like many regions across Aotearoa, is dealing with a shortage of affordable housing, particularly smaller one- and two-bedroom dwellings and universally designed homes.
  • This limited availability challenges first-home-buyers, downsizing retirees, and those with moderate incomes looking for suitable living spaces.
  • The local council can make a significant impact by enabling the construction of more affordable homes, optimising consenting processes, and fine-tuning policies.
  • The Horowhenua District Council is encouraging more affordable housing options and making land available for building, buying, and renting homes suited for community needs.
  • The council has completed a rapid review of the 2019 Housing Action Plan to refocus on areas of the affordable housing challenge that can provide the greatest impact in the short to medium term.
  • Streamlining of consenting and approval processes are a priority under the new framework, as both council performance and government policy are important for providing affordable housing opportunities.

Article Summary

Due to the challenge of limited affordable housing availability, Horowhenua mayor, Bernie Wanden, emphasises that local councils can play an integral part in constructing affordable homes. This housing difficulty, prevalent in many regions across Aotearoa, makes it tough for first-home-buyers, those planning for retirement, and moderate-income earners in search of appropriate accommodations.

The Horowhenua District Council envisions a local housing strategy as crucial. This strategy involves linking housing outcomes to economic and social benefits, and connecting them with goals in transportation, environmental sustainability, and infrastructure. With a clear strategic vision and effective plans, the council is working towards enabling the construction of more affordable homes, streamlining consenting procedures and policies, and making land available for building, buying, and renting homes.

Mayor Wanden explains that the increasing population puts extra pressure on housing. The Horowhenua District Council is projected to continue growing at 1.5% annually until 2030 and thereafter by over 2%. In response, the council quickly reviewed its 2019 Housing Action Plan to refocus on addressing the affordable housing challenge. It is gearing towards its role as enabler and influencer to use partnerships, develop initiatives, and release land previously marked for disposal to create affordable housing opportunities.

In conclusion, the Horowhenua District Council is motivated and committed to supporting developments across the district to provide more affordable housing for all.

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