Three more years of affordable housing legislation

07 Sep 2016 |

The Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013 (“HASHAA“) first came into force on 16 September 2013. The purpose of the Act is to enhance housing affordability by facilitating an increase in land and housing supply in certain regions or districts identified as having housing supply and affordability issues.

HASHAA originally had an expiry date of September 2016 for lodging consent applications or proposed plan changes for development in special housing areas (“SHAs”). Minister of Building and Housing, Hon Nick Smith however announced yesterday that Government is extending HASHAA for a further three years under urgency. This will mean that new SHAs can be identified and agreed with Council for a further three years (until September 2019); existing SHAs will still be limited by the date at which they were gazetted (unless an extension is agreed with Council).

HASHAA works as a ‘fast-track’ option for certain residential developments to proceed under an alternative track to the Resource Management Act 1991. HASHAA specifies that an authorised agency is not to publicly notify an application for resource consent made under HASHAA. However, adjacent landowners, regional or district authorities may receive limited notification in some instances. The legislation also significantly restricts any rights of appeal against decisions to approve housing developments.

Although HASHAA was originally intended to ease the pressure of housing supply in the Auckland Region, numerous special housing areas have been developed throughout the country since the Act came into force.

Read a more detailed summary of how HASHAA works here.

You can read the full text of the HASHAA extension Bill here: Housing Legislation Amendment Bill 2016. The Bill is currently in its second reading before the House and must be in effect by 16 September 2016.

The extension of HASHAA by three years will allow additional special housing areas to be established and provide faster housing development and increased housing supply for more areas of New Zealand.

To find out more about how the HASHAA extension Bill could affect you or your land, contact one of our experts in the Environment Planning & Natural Resources Team.

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