Government's new housing initiative - the benefits for our District 24 March 2021 The Government’s housing initiative has benefits for Coromandel as Council signs off on continuing to progress its own housing initiative project this week. A housing acceleration fund to boost the scale and pace of new home builds is being welcomed by Thames-Coromandel District Mayor Sandra Goudie who is “applauding” the Government for that initiative which aligns with housing development desperately needed by our Council. In the Government’s housing package, there is a $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund, which would see it picking up the tab for infrastructure costs like roading and pipes – works that are key to releasing land for development. “Two of the biggest things that have stymied housing development are planning through the Resource Management Act (RMA) and funding for infrastructure," says Mayor Sandra. “The Government is meeting us half-way there with this Acceleration Fund and we’re already preparing the case as to why we should get a slice of this money.” “We have infrastructure projects to enable housing (like Totara Valley) that are on our 'nice to have list', in our Long-Term Plan which is currently out for public consultation, that potentially could get across the line with this Government funding,” says Mayor Sandra. “In regard to the planning framework, the Government’s announcement is also timely - as this week our Council also just signed off progress on identifying land for significant housing developments within the next 12 months within the Thames Ward,” says Mayor Sandra. “Thames is one of our main centres, where there hasn’t been any housing stock growth for more than three decades and we’ve got developers looking here with loads of interest but wanting more certainly about planning and future infrastructure.” Part of this Council project for Thames will involve a statutory planning process (rezoning land for housing), which would link with infrastructure development. You can read the 'Thames and Surrounds Spatial Plan Rescope report’ which went to our Council meeting this week.