Doubts cast on housing deal's goals

Labour says the Government "does not have a dog's show" of reaching its goal of 39,000 new homes in Auckland in three years after a report appeared to show it would fall short of its first-year target by 2000 homes.

When the Auckland Housing Accord was signed in October, Housing Minister Nick Smith said the Government's agreement with Auckland Council would help build 9000 homes in the first year.

Dr Smith and Mayor Len Brown said on the release of an interim report on Monday that progress was good but more work was required.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment report showed 7176 dwelling consents were expected to be signed off by September - nearly 2000 short of the goal.

Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford said the progress report showed Aucklanders had been "sold a lemon" because the accord gave no certainty about when the houses would be finished.

"How do we know a consented section will turn into a dwelling? It could take five years before a consented section is a house that someone can start living in.

"At the Manukau golf course, they're counting a consented dwelling in a place where people are still playing golf as we speak. It's not a house. It's a line on the map."

The report did not indicate how many houses would be finished in the first year under the accord.

A spokeswoman for Dr Smith said the accord did not set specific timeframes for completing houses and this would depend on builders and developers.

She said the report also showed 5156 new sections would be created by September and this would help the Government and council to exceed the target of 9000 homes.

Not every dwelling required a section because some were apartments.

- Isaac Davison of the NZ Herald

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