Lengthy process to provide affordable housing

Photo: Gregor Richardson
Photo: Gregor Richardson
Construction of two homes is under way on developer Mark Lambert's section on South Rd, Dunedin.

Mr Lambert bought the land from the Dunedin City Council in 2015, with the intention of establishing a five-unit affordable housing development.

After a lengthy consultation process with the council, which Mr Lambert said cost him over $100,000, construction has started on the two flats.

He was hoping to be able to add two more units in the future.

It had been a frustrating process, he said.

"It breaks my heart that I'm jumping through hoops to provide affordable housing while every time I turn on the TV people are crying out for it."

Mr Lambert said he would not pass the extra costs of construction on to his future tenants, and said "the market dictates rent".

He hoped the buildings would be completed by September. 

- Gus Patterson


I don't know how a building permit and/or Resource Consent can cost so much. I can understand there might be some 'user pays' application fees but $50 or so should cover each of those. Is the DCC charging on the basis of staff time? If so, at what hourly rate? Maybe it's a subject worth investigation by the ODT. I can't see how it's in the public interest for DCC paperwork costs to add so significantly to the cost of housing which is already unaffordable to own for so many people here. Affordable rental is also in short supply. $100,000 for council paperwork costs seems way out of proportion. About 20 years ago, you could easily buy a reasonable quality three bedroom house in Dunedin for around $100,000. If the DCC costs for these two flats ($50,000 each) are not unusual, that means a monstrous increase in buying price caused by the DCC's 'cut'.

Mark Lambert I take my hat off to you, and shame on you DCC, when living in Dunedin we got a garage built with various inspections as it was built by the DCC, they never showed up on one inspection time and charged us for the inspection, the builder said he sorted it for us but suspect the builder added it to later jobs. All I can say is shame on you DCC sort your system out and start to look after people such as Mark Lambert. I can see who has the towns interest at heart and it isn't the DCC.