The government is legislating under urgency to extend the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act (HASHA Act).

Without the intervention, the Act would expire on 16 September.

The Housing Legislation Amendment Bill:

  • provides for a smooth transition to the Auckland Unitary Plan by allowing plan change requests made but not completed under the HASHA Act to continue when the Plan becomes operative. This provision is targeted at five SHAs, which between them could accommodate around 3,180 new homes, that have not been zoned residential in the Plan and would otherwise need to start the plan change process again from scratch
  • extends by three years to 16 September 2019 the date by which Special Housing Areas (SHAs) can be created and extends the expiry of the HASHA Act to 16 September 2021 (applies to high growth areas outside Auckland), and
  • deals to land banking by:
    • tightening the time limits for lodging consent applications and plan change requests. Existing SHAs will be disestablished either on their one year anniversary or, if they were established before 16 September 2015, when the Bill comes into effect on 16 September 2016. New SHAs, established after the Bill comes into effect, will be disestablished on 16 September 2019, and
    • provides Ministerial discretion to disestablish an SHA early, if more than 12 months have passed and no consent application or plan change has been lodged.

The Bill also amends the Housing Act 1955 to confirm that the offer-back obligations to former owners under the Public Works Act 1981 do not apply, and have never applied, to the disposal of State housing land where the disposal is necessary to achieve the government's housing objectives.

The Q&A on the Bill is available here.

The information in this article is for informative purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Please contact Chapman Tripp for advice tailored to your situation.