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At a meeting of the planning and environment committee on Tuesday, Dunedin city councillors were discussing a report on meeting future housing capacity needs in the city.
The report said variation two to the second generation district plan would allow enough development to meet future housing needs by 2030, and there would be a shortfall of 100 houses by 2050.
Cr Carmen Houlahan said the city was in crisis and she thought the council needed to call an urgent housing summit.
Pressures were being placed on the city’s housing stock from various directions, including growing student numbers, an influx of workers on the new hospital and New Zealanders returning home from overseas because of the pandemic.
It was positive that the city had been experiencing growth, but if people were unable to get a house they were likely to leave again.
‘‘We need to sit down now, urgently, and say as a council: ‘Who can help us, what can we do?’’’
Cr Andrew Whiley said the report was ‘‘sombre reading’’and it made him think about how his children would be able to afford a house in 2030.
The current supply of houses versus demand had seen house prices ‘‘go through the roof’’.
Developers had told him there was a lot of land around the city that could be developed into housing if they were allowed.
Failure to allow more development ‘‘creates a lack of opportunity for a lot of other people to come and live, work and play in our city’’.
Mayor Aaron Hawkins said that after listening to some of his colleagues, he wondered if they had been reading the same report.
He said it showed the city was on track to meet its obligations to enable development of housing by 2030, ‘‘and just shy of what is required through until 2050’’.
Housing supply should not be conflated with housing affordability, he said.
Supply had a role in affordability, but the district plan did not influence record low interest rates or market conditions that made buying a second house easier than buying a first.
Committee chairman Cr David Benson-Pope said the council should be pleased about the work done under variation two to meet future housing needs.
‘‘People need to focus not on some other agenda that appears to be apparent around the table, but on the reality of what is in the document that has been presented to us.’’