Dropping dwelling consents highlights need for action on housing affordability

Statistics New Zealand’s latest data on building consents shows consents for new dwellings in Kāpiti have dropped to their lowest level in three years, leading to mayoral candidate Gwynn Compton to call on Kāpiti Coast District Council to take urgent action to address housing and rental affordability.

“With housing and rental affordability in Kāpiti already worsening faster than the New Zealand average, combined with the rapidly approaching completion of Transmission Gully, the drop in dwelling consents is deeply concerning,” says Mr Compton.

“We’ve not only just had the lowest number of dwellings consented in a quarter since the start of 2016, but also in the 12 months to March 2019 consents are down 14 percent on the previous 12 month period, making it the lowest 12 months to March since 2016.

“Demand for housing in Kāpiti is only set to soar in the coming years, yet Kāpiti Coast District Council still doesn’t have a plan to address the situation. It’s a shocking failure of leadership from our elected representatives.”

Gwynn Compton says that the Kāpiti Coast District Council already has a blueprint available to them to help get things started, but for nearly two years they’ve failed to take any action on the recommendations from the Kāpiti Coast Communities Housing Taskforce.

“Nobody is under any illusions that improving housing and rental affordability will take time. But when Kāpiti Coast District Council has wasted nearly two years sitting on the recommendations from the Kāpiti Coast Communities Housing Taskforce without taking any meaningful action, it just puts us even further behind the eightball in dealing with this major issue.

“We need to get more houses built and quickly. Rapidly rising house prices and rents are forcing more and more people out of Kāpiti and the lack of action from Council for nearly two years simply isn’t good enough.”