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Major affordable housing project in pipeline for Arrowtown

MEDIA RELEASE FROM QUEENSTOWN LAKES COMMUNITY HOUSING TRUST
April 23, 2019. For immediate releas
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Major affordable housing project in the pipeline for Arrowtown

Affordable housing in Arrowtown is a step closer to reality after vacant land was transferred to the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust last week.

Last Thursday the Queenstown Lakes District Council approved a 3.6ha site on Jopp Street to be assigned to the Trust to build 65 homes for a mixed tenure development.

The land has been earmarked for housing since 2003, when the local community identified the site as being favourable for residential development.

The Trust proposes to build 65 homes, comprising five one-bedroom units, 20 two-bedroom homes, 36 three-bedroom homes and four four-bedroom homes.

A mixed tenure development model is envisaged with the homes being allocated to the Trust’s various programmes, including its new assisted-ownership model Secure Home, affordable rentals, rent-to-buy and senior housing.

Trust executive officer Julie Scott says: “We’re absolutely delighted with Council’s decision to enable this underutilised piece of community-owned land to be turned into affordable housing for another 65 local households. It has been a long time in the making for us, and we’re incredibly grateful to the current Council for bringing it to fruition.”

The total project is estimated to cost QLCHT $27 million. While some of this will be recovered through Secure Home sales, the Trust will be seeking additional funding from other avenues.

“We have already commenced high-level discussions with local community trusts and Central Government, to tap into alternative funding streams,” Scott adds.

The QLDC decision follows years of planning and negotiations with the Trust, since the initial earmarking of the site in 2003. A Heads of Agreement was later signed between QLDC and the Trust in 2010 and a councillor workshop in 2018 agreed to further testing and high-level planning. Earlier this year, council adopted the Proposed District Plan commissioners’ recommendation for the land to be rezoned to Low Density Residential, and included within the Urban Growth Boundary.

Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult says: “We’re very pleased to be able to approve this transfer. Two of the key recommendations to come out of the Housing Affordability Taskforce report was for Council to invest in scaling up QLCHT, as well as to investigate its own landholdings for opportunities to contribute further to community affordable housing. The Jopp St decision very clearly satisfies both those of objectives. I, personally, and the Council are excited to see the development of this site and for QLCHT to bring many more much-needed affordable homes to the district.”

With nearly 600 households on its waiting list, the Trust has had no shortage of demand in the district. A survey of Arrowtown renters undertaken by the Trust in 2017, revealed 89% of the 122 Arrowtown respondents were interested in future rental accommodation options with QLCHT.

Trust chair Andrew Blair says the Trust appreciates the support of the Council to enable this major milestone: “We see this as a transfer from the balance sheet of one community-owned organisation to another. By facilitiating this project, both Council and the Trust can continue to strive towards our aligned goal of assisting 1000 households into affordable homes by 2028.”

The transfer is subject to sign-off from Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta due to its current status as endowment land, as well as the Trust confirming its final masterplan to Council. The latter will be established once Geotech and soil contaimination investigations are complete.

The Trust anticipates civil works will commence later this year, with building construction to start in 12-15 months.

ENDS


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