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Door wide open for ideas on affordable homes

30 November 2005

The door is wide open for ideas on affordable homes

Auckland City today released an Expressions of Interest document seeking proposals from organisations interested in providing and managing homes for low-income working families.

The council will borrow $9 million dollars to invest in affordable housing. It has committed $1 million to the project every year for 15 years through a targeted rate for community development and housing. This will be used to repay the loan.

Auckland City is now looking for a partner or partners to join with it in the affordable homes for working families project.

Chairperson of the Community Development and Equity Committee, Dr Cathy Casey, says, "High property prices and high rents mean it's becoming increasingly difficult for low-income families to afford to live in Auckland city.

"In a bid to show some leadership and address this issue, the council wants to join forces with other organisations to provide a small number of affordable homes. We know there are organisations with skills in this area and we'd urge them to come to us with a proposal."

The council is seeking Expressions of Interest from partners who can provide any, or all, of the following: * finance * land or buildings * property development skills * urban design skills * tenancy management experience * asset management expertise.

The council's community planning policy manager, Pam Bourke, says the Expressions of Interest process is open to all organisations, as long as they are well run, financially stable and experienced in working in partnership.

"We could be looking at a partnership with a financial trust, a charity, a property developer, or a government department. This is an exciting and innovative project and we want to get as many proposals as possible on the table," she says.

Ms Bourke says all applications will have to meet certain requirements. These include financial robustness, quality urban design principles and 'green' building practices.

She says potential partners are encouraged to work together and submit joint proposals to strengthen their applications.

Ms Bourke stressed that the council was not looking to get involved in a social housing development.

Those interested in submitting an Expression of Interest proposal have until 20 January 2006 to make an application.

An Auckland City evaluation team will then analyse the proposals and come up with a shortlist of preferred applications. The council's Community Development and Equity Committee will decide on the final partner or partners.

Those interested in submitting an Expression of Interest can download information at www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/affordablehousing .

ENDS


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