Housing debate heats up

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The ongoing saga of Queenstown’s housing shortage heats up again next week, with councillors to decide on several major housing development proposals. Daisy Hudson takes a look at what’s on the table, and what it could mean for the district.

All eyes will turn to Queenstown’s council chambers next week, as councillors consider whether to give a thumbs-up to a raft of special housing area (SHA) proposals that could dramatically change the face of the resort.

And another housing development’s been added to the list, with councillors to consider a proposal from the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust for its Arrowtown Jopp Street site.

The proposals up for consideration next week include the 600-house Coneburn development near Jack’s Point, 423 units across two adjacent SHAs along Ladies Mile, and the controversial Laurel Hills development, a decision on which was deferred from the last council meeting.

But even if all five proposals get the green light, they’ll barely make a dent in the number of houses the district’s expected to need within the coming decades.

Council projections released last month show 17,000 houses will be needed to cater for Queenstown’s population within 30 years.

The total number of houses in the district is 20,840 – but that’s expected to almost double to 37,770 by 2048.

A further 300 houses were also recently announced for the old Wakatipu High School site, including just over 100 KiwiBuild properties – but there are close to 600 people on the housing trust’s waiting list.

Housing trust boss Julie Scott says the SHA proposals would be a boon for those seeking affordable housing.

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daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz