A Richmond family is devasted by the Government’s decision to decline their affordable subdivision proposal. Jason and Ange Mudgway are the directors of Mudgway Construction. In June 2019 they decided to turn their lifestyle block into an affordable housing area, as a way of giving back to the community.

The proposed affordable housing area would be built on their land on the corner of Main Road Hope and White Road, and the sections, which would be on average about 511m2, would be capped at $295,000. They could start as $240,000, with overall costs staying below $500,000.

After months of waiting, on the 26 August, they had access to a letter from Housing Minister Megan Woods, addressed to Mayor Richard Kempthorne, declining their proposal. “In her letter, she basically said, ‘just go through the Resource Management Act process and get a resource consent’. That’s not that easy and very expensive so the affordability would be gone. Affordability was the whole point of this,” says Jason.

“I am writing to her again and I am going to beg and plead and say to her ‘I understand that we didn’t get our proposal into her date, but the reason for that delay was the voting by Tasman District Council to approve the area. We’ve got now a list of 48 people who want a section here. These people are desperate,” says Ange.

According to a Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) spokesperson, the Government is committed to addressing the housing crisis and welcomes proposals from local authorities, iwi and community housing organisations to provide housing.
“While supporting the intention and goals of this development, the recommendation for this SHA was received on 4 June, after the administrative cut-off date of 30 April 2019.

The deadline was to allow sufficient time for the last tranche of SHAs to be processed,” says the HUD spokesperson. Still, according to the HUD, the Housing Accords and Special Housing Act (HASHAA) partially repeals on 16 September 2019. After this point, all SHAs will be disestablished. “In terms of the cut-off date, it is important that a fair and consistent approach be applied to all councils.”

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