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Jobs & Growth: State housing gets major boost

Phil Heatley

11 February, 2009
Jobs & Growth: State housing gets major boost

Thousands of existing state houses will be upgraded and new state homes will be built as the Government fast-tracks $124.5 million worth of investment, Housing Minister Phil Heatley said today.

As part of the Government's Jobs and Growth Plan, $104.5 million will be poured into improving up to 10,000 existing state homes, many of which sorely need upgrading.

In addition to the major upgrade work there will be 69 new state homes built within the next six months at a cost of $20 million.

"This work will be spread across the country and will deliver economic stimulus in almost every region," Mr Heatley says.

"Constructing and improving state houses will provide real work for local builders and other tradespeople and have flow-on effects as materials are purchased.

"It will also help Housing New Zealand deal with the waiting lists that have built up for state homes, while at the same time increasing the wellbeing of some of New Zealand's most vulnerable families."

The injection of $104.5 million to improve and upgrade homes means up to 10,000 more homes will be upgraded over the next 18 months - an average of 18 a day.

This takes the total number of state homes that will be improved by the end of June 2010 to 18,300 - or 28 per cent of the total state housing stock.

An existing energy retrofit programme is also expected to separately upgrade 13,000 state homes over the same period.

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The 69 new homes to be built are over and above the approximately 450 new homes Housing New Zealand already intended to add to its stock before July.

"I have asked Housing New Zealand to deliver this work in a way that maximises the economic benefit, taking into account the timescales it faces," Mr Heatley says.



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