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Building standards need to be strengthened if a national vision promoting healthy homes is to be realised, Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins says.

Aaron Hawkins
Aaron Hawkins
The Dunedin City Council has called for a review of the building code, as well as an examination of whether the accommodation supplement system works as intended, and the council has continued its push for broader access to a rental subsidy.

Mr Hawkins said aspirations expressed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development in a discussion document promoting affordable, warm and dry housing in the next 30 years were hard to argue with.

However, building standards were not adequate to generate healthy housing, he said.

The council asked for the building code to be reviewed to ensure better quality new homes are built.

It also asked for a review to look into the impact of the accommodation supplement on affordable housing.

The scheme helps people on lower incomes with their living costs, but Mr Hawkins had some doubts the effect on the rental market promoted affordable housing in the long term.

Cr Rachel Elder said

providing sufficient affordable community housing was a challenge when the need was increasing and large portfolios had to be brought up to healthy homes standards.

The council added to its draft submission on the discussion document that council tenants should have access to the income-related rents subsidy, which gives community housing providers a top-up on rent received.

Councils are excluded from the scheme.

Cr Jim O’Malley said if the block on councils was lifted, the council could use increased income to build more housing.

Deputy mayor Christine Garey drew attention to regional house price caps connected to the First Home grants scheme.

Home-buyers able to find a home in Dunedin for under $425,000 may be eligible for a grant.

The city council has called for the cap to be reviewed regularly and increased where necessary.


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Noble words indeed. Demonstrates perfectly how out of touch the Mayor is. The cost of building, building material shortages, labour shortages, section prices......where do we start the conversation Aaron? Yes, OBVIOUSLY, a healtheir standard would be ideal. However, in the real world, magic wands are in very short supply. Seat warmers and policy fiddlers will no doubt enjoy their pen pushing toil, little aware to the additional financial pressures that are placed on people, because those same seat warmers and policy fiddlers are all FUNDED by the public purse. But hey, lets just borrow MORE!!!!! Good job there Aaron........

Wise words Buzz. Let's put YOUR suggestion into action. Oh wait, you didn't actually make one. Too bad.

The sooner Aaron is voted out the better. Our worst mayor in decades. Vote him out.

An neither did our asteemed Mayor DNNZ, at best all he could suggest was a 'review', and how much will that cost? Seat warmers and pen pushes, paid silly money to do nothing more than increase costs. The problem is far greater than any review Aaron is likely to find the answers from. Hey but look, I'm not the bloke on $165kp.a. sitting around stating the obvious?
Prices and costs are going through the roof, we all know is NOT the time to yet add more layers of compliance, regulations and costs to the building sector. Too many people are being left behind.

So what stops having a healthier standard? Your insults don't provide the solution. Perhaps I missed something.

Money Nash, pure and simple, MONEY restricts healthier building standards. Not just the cost of the materials, but the horrendous amount of red tape in the form of compliancing and regulations. Strip out some of the regulatory charges and costs would free up money for 'healthier homes. Aaron wants a 'review'? Then lets start with how much actual profit is in building materials. Who is actually getting crazy RICH in this boom? We can't just keep adding layers of costs and compliancing aiming for higher standards, it's time we looked at the real costs and the wasted time and resources. Where does the money come from to build a house? The BANKS. People are being asked to borrow more and more, so very stressful for so many just wanting a home to call thier own. This current situation is driving people to the edge and leaving many on the streets. But there I go, stating the OBVIOUS, without the $165kpa.....

Our building standard can be raised without necessarily imposing huge additional costs (although you are right about the obscene cost of building--hopefully after supermarkets the commerce commission will look at building material suppliers). One example. Our standard requires double glazing but does NOT require a thermal break in the frame. A double glazed aluminium window without a thermal break is no better performing than a well fitting single glazed wooden window: heat just leaches through the marvellously conductive frame. Aluminium windows without a break even have little drains in the bottom to encourage the water that collects on them out. It costs very little less to do the job right, and it saves a lot in house running costs. Surely we should build properly in the first place?

And it's those sorts of details that can indeed be improved at very little cost, and I totally agree, there's a very good start, THERMAL BREAK for windows and external doors. But leave it to the wrong pen pusher in the wrong department......and all hell breaks loose for the consumer and in many cases the builder and the architect. Layer upon layer of complication, regulation and financial stress for what should be a rather simple process. Good example flatplatypus.....

There's a company in Bulls, Manawatu, that can build a fully finished two bed home including heatpump and kitchen in less than 30 days for $120k, so why is it, examples like this aren't rolled out? We don't have the time nor the money nor the appetite for waste that we often see with traditional building. It's time to completely relook at how we actually BUILD homes. Why is it that European countries have far healthier homes than we do, and they are built far quicker and at a lower cost. The entire building and material supply industry needs a review, start at the root of the problem......

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