Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Govt move to build on Rotorua housing supply

Rotorua Lakes Council is to join the Tier 1 major urban centres covered by the medium density residential standards (MDRS) in a move that will significantly increase housing supply in the Rotorua Lakes District, Housing Minister, Megan Woods has announced today.

Minister Woods and Environment Minister, David Parker, announced the move today following a request from Rotorua Lakes Council and its partners, Te Arawa Lakes Trust and Te Tatau o Te Arawa.

Council reported that Rotorua had recently experienced strong population increases, but housing supply has not kept pace – meaning many residents have been locked out of affordable home ownership and rental properties.

“The MDRS means up to three homes of up to three storeys each will be able to be built on most residential sites without requiring a resource consent,” said Minister Parker.

“This allows for a greater variety of housing close to jobs, transport and community facilities – the places people want to be.”

Council will now need to update its district plans to align with the medium density residential standards (MDRS) and National Policy Statement on Urban Development.

“The housing situation in Rotorua needs urgent attention, so we are delighted to see Rotorua Lakes Council proactively addressing its planning rules,” Dr Woods said.

“Including Rotorua Lakes Council under these regulations will significantly increase the number of houses that can be built in the city,” she said.

“This is a welcome step as part of all the work underway to build more housing for Rotorua and remove some of the barriers that have been in the way,” said Rotorua Mayor, Steve Chadwick.

“The decision to seek Rotorua’s inclusion in this legislation was unanimously supported by our elected members who all recognise the acute housing needs in our district.”

Some of the new rules which implement the MDRS will be in place from August 2022, while others which require more consideration under the National Policy Statement on Urban Development will come into effect in late 2023.

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