Government announces next step for housing infrastructure fund

Councils can now submit indicative proposals for the Government’s $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund, Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“The fund, announced in July, gives councils the ability to bring forward infrastructure projects important to increasing housing supply, whether in new greenfield urban areas or in the redevelopment of existing urban areas,” Dr Smith says.

“As part of their indicative proposals, councils will be expected to include information on the type of development for which funding assistance is being sought and its location, estimates of how many additional dwellings the infrastructure is expected to help provide, and the estimated value of funding sought.

“This is the first of two stages through which eligible councils can apply for funding under the contestable fund and allows councils to seek feedback on whether projects may be eligible for funding before newly elected councils confirm and submit their finalised proposals. Indicative proposals will need to be submitted by 2 December 2016. It is expected final proposals will need to be submitted in March 2017.”

For council projects to be eligible they must be:

  • From council in high-growth urban areas as defined in the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity;
  • related to roading projects (including public transport and council-nominated New Zealand Transport Agency projects), water, wastewater or stormwater infrastructure; and
  • intended to support the building of new dwellings.

“Funding will be available only for the capital cost of the projects, and cannot be used for maintaining, replacing or running infrastructure,” Dr Smith says.

“This fund is part of the Government’s wide ranging housing programme and is designed to help Councils with high growth meet the capital costs of new infrastructure. It complements other initiatives including the KiwiSaver HomeStart scheme that assists first home buyers, the National Policy Statement on Urban Development, the tax changes affecting investment buyers, the reforms to the RMA and further planned reforms about unit titles, urban development authorities and building regulation.”

Go here to see the announcement.