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City announces new home ownership housing plan

AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL


14 November 2006

City announces new home ownership housing initiative

Auckland City today announced a pioneering new Assisted Ownership initiative to help working householders buy their own home.

On 29 November, Auckland City will sign an agreement with a group led by McConnell Property Ltd to work together to develop enduring, sustainable, and affordable home ownership solutions for working households within the city.

“For many hard-working people in Auckland city the traditional Kiwi goal of home ownership is becoming harder and harder to achieve. This innovative Assisted Ownership initiative is about developing solutions that will allow a greater opportunity for working families to get onto the home ownership ladder,” says Councillor Cathy Casey, Community Development and Equity Committee chairperson.

The scheme will develop and pilot the use of innovative financial partnerships. The council will provide $1 million of funding a year from the community development and housing targeted rate.

The group who will work with Auckland City to develop the Assisted Ownership initiative is led by McConnell Property Ltd. They were selected following detailed discussions with a short-list of potential partners on ways to deliver one or more pilot assisted ownership housing developments for working families in Auckland city. Group members include some of the best urban renewal and urban design practitioners in the country.

McConnell Property Ltd is part of a growing number of international firms who measure success not only in financial terms, but also in social and environmental terms.

General manager of McConnell Property Ltd, Martin Udale says: “We are committed to delivering an enduring and affordable housing solution for those who might otherwise never be able to own their own house. We believe the pilots developed under this Assisted Ownership initiative will demonstrate that a market-based solution and high quality urban design can put home ownership within the reach of all working New Zealanders”.

The housing solutions developed under this scheme will not only offer greater opportunity for ownership, they will also incorporate best practice urban design principles, high quality construction standards, sustainability measures, and well-planned common spaces to foster a sense of community.

The council and McConnell Property Ltd are making significant progress in identifying potential sites, as well as potential ownership and management models that will be used for the pilot developments. Further details will be announced when the agreement is signed.

“We have taken a measured and cautious approach to the project to ensure that all possible opportunities are explored and that ratepayers’ money is well used. This agreement is an important step towards showing that assisted home ownership solutions can be developed in Auckland, and towards delivering an initial demonstration development that will lead towards the goal of greater home ownership,” says Dr Casey.

Ends


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