Thursday, June 13, 2024

$179m to jump start regional housing

Seven centres around the country have secured a total of $179 million in Government funding for groundwork infrastructure to enable the construction of more than 8,000 new homes, Housing Minister, Megan Woods has announced on a visit to Ōtaki today.

“The Government’s Infrastructure Acceleration Fund was set up to jump start housing developments by funding the necessary services, like roads and pipes to homes, which are currently holding up development,” said Minister Woods.

“Investment in infrastructure is a key action the Government is undertaking to increase the supply of housing in the medium term, and today’s funding unlocks over 8,000 new homes in developments across Rotorua, Ōmokoroa, Kaikōura, Ōtaki, Napier, Gisborne and New Plymouth.”

Key projects will include extensive stormwater management works in both Rotorua and Napier, a State Highway 2 intersection in Ōmokoroa, and a local link road and cycleway in Kaikōura. Upgrading water supply and roading in other projects will also deliver greater housing capacity, the Minister said.

“We’ve also ensured to deliver funding to developments in areas of the country with some of the greatest need of additional supply,” she said.

The homes will include elderly housing, papakāinga, public, affordable and market housing.

“The only way we are going to solve the housing crisis is to build more houses. Our Government is making the most investment since the 1970s in land, housing and infrastructure like pipes and roads to enable new housing. There is no silver bullet to solve the housing crisis but investments like this will make a difference,” said Dr Woods.

“I want to congratulate these first council and iwi led projects to secure funding. A further 28 are currently undergoing due diligence and negotiations. These are expected to be successfully concluded and announced over the coming months.

“We’ve seen enormous interest from regions wanting to build more housing for their communities, but who need funding support to make developments viable. We know a massive piece of the missing puzzle in the housing crisis we inherited is infrastructure; there simply hasn’t been enough investment in getting land build-ready.

“It’s great for the Government to come to the table as a partner to unlock much needed housing all over the country,” she said.

Rotorua Mayor, Steve Chadwick said the funding announcement was “huge” for the Rotorua community.

Rotorua will receive $85 million for stormwater solution works to enable the construction of more than 3,000 local homes.

“We have a transformational programme of work and investment planned for our critical infrastructure that will support the network’s capacity and capability to cope with housing intensification, greenfield development, and the impacts of climate change,” she said.

“This funding will enable us to accelerate this programme of work and reduce the timeframe for completion from thirty years to seven years.”

Maraenui in Napier will receive $12.4 million for crucial flood management work, which Napier City Council believes will provide network capacity for an additional 400 new homes, including public and affordable.

Napier City Council Chief Executive, Steph Rotarangi says the IAF funding will enable a significant step forward for housing in the city.

“Like many cities in New Zealand, we know that to secure a strong future we need to ensure we have sufficient safe, healthy homes for our growing population,” she said.

“Our community’s wellbeing will be enhanced by improving our housing stock and made possible with better infrastructure through this fund.”

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