Wellington City Council proceeds with HNZ lease
Wednesday 26 September
Wellington City Council has agreed to lease its newly built 104-unit social housing complex in Mt Cook to Housing New Zealand (HNZ) in what has been described as a “win-win-win” deal.
Site 2 of the former Arlington Apartments in Mount Cook, now named Te Māra, is just weeks from completion following two years of construction.
At a Council meeting today, councillors unanimously voted for the recommendation that Council enter negotiations with HNZ over the short-term lease of the complex, which includes a mix of one, two, three and four bedrooms and include a community room.
Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says the deal is a win for Council, HNZ and tenants, who will be eligible for the Government’s Income-Related Rent Subsidy.
“It will be significantly more affordable for them, and Housing New Zealand gets access to high-quality housing in the central city.”
The Mayor says Wellington is not giving up its responsibility for social housing.
“It is not enough to say we are maintaining City Housing. We need to grow the number of social houses as the city grows. This transaction will help us do that.”
Councillor Brian Dawson, who holds the housing portfolio, says Te Māra is a modern complex which will improve the lives of its tenants.
“The days of cinder block, horrible social housing units are gone. These days we expect to have safe, warm and resilient housing for our tenants.”
Cr Dawson says the Council is not handing over social housing to the Government.
“It’s not about who the landlord is. This is about facilitating the increase of housing supply in Wellington. Housing New Zealand is very active in building new social housing and this will help them do that.”
Cr Dawson also acknowledged the Mt Cook community, particularly those in Hankey Street, who supported social housing. “They are staunch advocates for social housing and I thank them for their passion and support.”