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Auckland land and housing: use it or pay - Vic Crone

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Auckland Mayoral candidate Victoria Crone says there’s increasing concern about land, homes and commercial property sitting unused in Auckland for capital gain. Under her watch housing and commercial premises left unoccupied, or land not being developed for six months or more, will be tagged with additional rates charges.

"While we don’t have a good picture of the numbers, I’m hearing loud and clear there’s a problem and strong anecdotal evidence right across Auckland, including in Special Housing Areas (SHAs)," says Ms Crone.

"At a time when people are struggling to get into homes, it’s important any land earmarked for development is being developed, and dwellings, along with commercial premises, aren’t being left unoccupied for the sake of capital gains.

"My policy will reduce the financial incentives to sit on property longer than six months by:

introducing a targeted rate for strategically unoccupied dwellings or commercial premises. This will include working with Watercare on monitoring data;

introducing a targeted rate where there is no development activity on any land in areas earmarked for development. If there is still no response, the land will be rezoned, usually collapsing the value;

introducing well-enforced ‘sunset clauses’ with clear time frames for development activity on any council land freed-up for development (including SHAs). Working in partnership with the government to progress this approach on Crown land; and

shaking up council’s consenting process to deliver good quality, faster and less costly outcomes. Council should not be a hindrance to development.

"We will have to work with major stakeholders and the government to find a good balance with charges, conditions, and possibly time period, but this will happen as a matter of priority."

Targeted rates will be reviewed as more land, home and commercial premises become available. Ms Crone adds that council’s approach must be more flexible and collaborative so it can respond in good time and with good solutions to burning issues.

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