Infrastructure Acceleration Fund opening for business

 Infrastructure Acceleration Fund opening for business

Contestable funding criteria established for new housing infrastructure

·       Invitation for expressions of interest from local councils, iwi and developers released on 30 June

Criteria to access at least $1 billion of the $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund (HAF), announced in March, is now available, and an invitation for expressions of interest will be released on 30 June, Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. 

“This is a key milestone in our plan to accelerate the development of build ready land to enable more homes to be built at pace and scale,” Megan Woods said.

“The housing supply crisis is a problem decades in the making that will take time to turn around, but we are starting to make inroads on increasing supply and this fund will make a real difference to increasing the supply of housing by assisting in overcoming a key barrier to building – access to basic infrastructure.  

“Investment in infrastructure was identified by local councils and others as one of the key actions the Government can take to increase the supply of housing in the short term.

“The Infrastructure Acceleration Fund is designed to allocate funding to infrastructure projects that will unlock housing development in the short to medium-term.

“It will jump-start housing developments by funding necessary services, like roads and pipes to homes, which are currently holding up development.

“This is about getting the most houses in the places across the country, where they are needed, happening as quickly as possible.

“It is available to councils, iwi and developers to start pitching for infrastructure funding, with successful projects weighted toward bringing on multiple, affordable new homes quickly and in the right places; in urban centres as well as in the regions,” Megan Woods said. 

Eligible projects include the new or upgrading of infrastructure for drinking water, waste water, sewage, roading, and flood management, which wholly or primarily enable the building of new and additional homes. Eligible costs include early stage feasibility studies, design, consenting and in some cases land costs.

The IAF will be opened up to councils, Iwi and developers and will prioritise funding for:

·       Brownfield intensification and greenfield expansion with access to amenities and opportunities

·       Developments where infrastructure investments might otherwise not be funded or not funded quickly enough to meet housing demand

·       A spread of projects across multiple regions including large urban areas and regional centres

·       Value for money through co-funding, contributions and commitments from third parties, including local councils

·       A steady pipeline of construction activity

·       Alignment with wider government objectives such as good urban planning, partnerships with iwi and Māori and transition to a net zero emissions economy.

In major urban environments (Tier 1) such as Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch, projects will be expected to deliver at least 200 additional homes.

In other urban centres (Tier 2) such as Rotorua, Palmerston North and Nelson, projects will be expected to deliver at least 100 additional homes. In other areas of the country, projects should result in at least 30 new homes.

“Not every application will be funded; we have weighted the fund to support projects that will deliver the most houses where they are most needed,” Megan Woods said.

“In order to bring on significant new supply we need to fund larger scale projects in large urban areas, as well as smaller scale projects outside of the main centres, where there is also a housing shortage.

“We’ve been proactively working with Local Government New Zealand since the March announcement to identify these smaller scale opportunities. We know that the housing crisis is being felt right across New Zealand.

“Final decisions are yet to be made on how the full Housing Acceleration Fund (which has already ring fenced $350 million for a Māori Infrastructure Fund) will be used, and we’ll also be looking at how to best build upon what we’ve started in our Large Scale Projects, which are already transforming the urban environment.

“Together with the new $2 billion borrowing capacity for Kāinga Ora, central Government will help green light tens of thousands of house builds,” Megan Woods said.

Further decisions on the Fund will be made throughout the year.

Media contact – Liz Banas 021 805 845

Note for Editors:

Ø  Tier 1 urban environments include:

·                        Auckland (Auckland Council)  

·                        Christchurch (Canterbury Regional Council, Christchurch City Council, Selwyn District Council and Waimakariri District Council)  

·                        Wellington (Wellington Regional Council, Wellington City Council, Porirua City Council, Hutt City Council, Upper Hutt City Council, Kāpiti Coast District Council)  

·                        Tauranga (Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council)  

·                        Hamilton (Waikato Regional Council, Hamilton City Council, Waikato District Council and Waipa District Council). 

Ø  Tier 2 urban environments include:

·                        Whangārei (Northland Regional Council, Whangārei District Council)  

·                        Rotorua (Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Rotorua District Council)  

·                        New Plymouth (Taranaki Regional Council, New Plymouth District Council  

·                        Napier-Hastings (Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Napier City Council and Hastings District Council)  

·                        Palmerston North (Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Council and Palmerston North City Council)  

·                        Nelson Tasman (Nelson City Council, Tasman District Council)  

·                        Queenstown (Otago Regional Council, Queenstown Lakes District Council)  

·                        Dunedin (Otago Regional Council and Dunedin City Council). 

Ø  In addition to accessing the Infrastructure Acceleration Fund, Māori will have access to the Māori Infrastructure Fund. The Māori Infrastructure Fund will unlock a wider range of Māori led housing projects such as papakāinga developments or rural developments with onsite infrastructure needs. Details of how Māori and iwi developers can access the $350 million Māori Infrastructure Fund will be announced in August. 

For more information on the contestable Infrastructure Acceleration Fund see www.kaingaora.govt.nz.

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