Can private infrastructure charges lift housing affordability?



As house prices continue to shoot further out of reach for many, a new paper asks if there is room for long-term private housing charges to finance infrastructure.

As part of its core function to fund and publish cutting-edge industry-relevant and academically robust research for industry and society, as well as to stimulate debate, The Property Foundation is examining a series of new approaches to finance New Zealand infrastructure at scale in the paper authored by Professor Graham Squires of Massey University entitled ‘The use of housing charges to fund and finance bulk infrastructure: Is this what innovation looks like?’ 

Forming the basis for a debate on the topic at the next Property Foundation event on 25 February 2021, the report details a range of models, including the creation of development-related special purpose vehicles to fund required infrastructure from new housing land subdivision and development. 

SIGN UP to attend the event HERE:

The paper focusses on  the case study of Milldale in Auckland to identify and interrogate key issues in policy and practice of housing charges to finance infrastructure.

Key questions posed and discussed in the paper, and for the event, include:

  • Will financing bulk road and water infrastructure on greenfield land negate the opportunity for a more integrated transport low-carbon future?
  • Is there an emerging inequity if we only fund infrastructure projects that can be financed through growth?
  • Is the future of financing public goods a devolution model that takes borrowing off the public balance sheet?

Professor Squires says: “Interesting benefits and costs came forward in discussing a private housing charge to pay for bulk infrastructure. One benefit included the expediency of a project that would not have happened but for the consortium being allowed and enabled to raise funds in this unique (to New Zealand) way. In summary, we find in the research a new and novel approach to New Zealand infrastructure financing at scale that has eluded  public financing and policy making for many decades.”

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