Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Hamilton moves forward with $150m bid for more housing

Hamilton City Council says it will move forward with a transformational bid for a $150.6 million infrastructure funding grant to enable housing in the central city.

In its final decision of the triennium, Council delegated authority to Chief Executive, Lance Vervoort, to conclude negotiations with central government for its Infrastructure Acceleration Fund (IAF).

If successful, Council says the grant will fund a new water reservoir and pump station, pedestrian and cycling bridge, and investigations into other strategic three waters and transport infrastructure.

It will enable up to 4,000 homes in the central city and surrounds between now and 2034, said Hamilton Mayor, Paula Southgate.

“We’re in the middle of a housing crisis, that is a fact. Everyone in our city, including our children and grandchildren, deserves to be well-housed,” the Mayor said.

“Government must come to the party and help pay for the infrastructure so we can get on with delivering that housing, as quickly as possible, without burdening our ratepayers.”

She said the bid supports Council’s aspirations to transform the central city into a place where people want to live, work and visit. It also aligns with proposed changes to the city’s District Plan to prioritise high-density housing in the central city and walkable areas around it, near jobs, transport and other community services.

The bid is supported by $129.3 million of co-funding from Council, already committed in its 2021-2031 Long-Term Plan. Alongside housing, it will also support more than 300,000m2 of commercial and retail space and has the potential to unlock more than $2.1 billion in private investment over the next decade.

“This is a game-changing grant that will transform our central city for future generations to live in, create numerous jobs and other economic benefits for the city,” said Mayor Southgate.

She said Council was working with key developers in the central city to get behind the bid and commit to delivering housing, soon.

The Council has also signalled that its long-standing aspirations to develop Council-owned land at Sonning carpark could help meet Government’s housing requirements.

Mayor Southgate reiterated this did not mean any decisions had been made about any site.

“We’re indicating to Government we have land that could help us reach the level of housing commitment they’re after. But that would depend on working with those communities, mana whenua and other affected parties through a number of issues.”

That included working with the recently created advocacy group – Guardians of Claudelands, she said.

The Government is expected to make announcements about successful bids to the contestable fund in November.

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