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More new Housing NZ homes opened

Hon Dr Nick Smith
Minister of Housing
29 April 2014 Media Statement

More new Housing NZ homes opened

A new Housing New Zealand Corporation (HNZC) development was opened today in Welcome Bay, Tauranga by Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith.

“These six new homes being developed in Tauranga will help meet local demand. The new homes are fully insulated, have double glazing and are well-positioned to soak up the Bay of Plenty sun. They are also designed to meet the demands of larger families and smaller families being four- and two- bedroomed, because this is where the shortage of social housing in Tauranga lies,” Dr Smith says.

“The new homes are part of HNZC’s $3 billion capital investment programme across the country to improve the quality of its housing and to better match its tenants’ needs in terms of location and size.”

Demand for state housing in Tauranga is relatively high, particularly for larger, four-plus bedroom houses and for smaller one- or two-bedroom houses. In addition to these six Welcome Bay properties, HNZC has also recently acquired 12 others in Tauranga in the last 12 months, comprising of one five-bedroom house, two four-bedroom houses and nine two-bedroom houses.

Two of these properties – the five-bedroom property and one of the two-bedroom properties – have been relocated from Springhill Prison to vacant sites, as part of a joint initiative between HNZC and the Department of Corrections.

“This initiative sees surplus state homes refurbished and reconfigured by prisoners, and once completed they’re relocated to areas of high demand. It’s a win-win situation, giving prisoners new skills and training opportunities, and providing more warm, dry homes for people in need,” Dr Smith says.

“HNZC’s focus is on ensuring its houses are in the right place and of the right size to best fit its tenants’ needs. These new houses demonstrate the good work the Corporation has underway to deliver the best outcomes for those in high housing need.”
In Tauranga, Dr Smith also met with local mayors and councils, community housing providers and the housing development sector to discuss improving supply and affordability in the region.

“The solution to the housing affordability challenge in Tauranga requires Government, councils, iwi, community housing organisations and the development sector to all play their role. The Government’s reforms are about expanding the community housing sector, improving HNZC’s housing stock, freeing up land supply, containing building material costs and getting compliance costs down,” Dr Smith says.

“Housing affordability has improved from the very poor levels in 2008 where house prices had doubled over the past decade and interest rates were over 11 per cent. We have made good progress over the last five years but need to do more if we are going to secure affordable homes for future generations in the Bay of Plenty.”

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