Thursday, April 25, 2024

Northland housing investment to spark transformational change says Minister

Multiple Northland communities are set to benefit from Government housing investments, delivering thousands of new homes for locals, Housing Minister Megan Woods announced today.

“Te Tai Tokerau is an area of high housing need, and we are pleased to be able to support more housing initiatives in the North. This includes investing in infrastructure, delivering more public homes, and providing more opportunities for affordable home ownership,” Minister Woods said.

$10.3 million for critical infrastructure in Whangārei

Key transport upgrades in Whangārei will get $10.3 million from the Government’s Infrastructure Acceleration Fund (IAF) – unlocking more land to build thousands of new homes, the Minister confirmed.

“The investment is expected to open up approximately 160 hectares of greenfield land, allowing for up to 3,000 new homes across multiple sites in the city. Up to 1,000 of these are expected to be delivered over the next 10 to 15 years, and up to 2,000 in the longer-term,” she said.

“The projects in Whangārei include a new bridge to replace a single-lane timber bridge in Kamo, which has stalled development plans to date, and a new roundabout on State Highway One with an arterial road and shared user path, connecting sites in Springs Flat with services, education and job opportunities”.  

Today’s announcement brings the combined IAF investment in the North to $58.9 million, following earlier IAF investments last November for Kaikohe and Kawakawa. In total, 14 critical infrastructure projects in Northland will be supported by IAF funding.

More affordable homes for Kerikeri

Minister Woods also announced today that the Government has bought a 3.279 hectare site at 57A Hall Road in Kerikeri to enable 56 new affordable homes to be built.

“Kerikeri, like other parts of the region, has experienced rapid growth in recent years creating high housing need. This purchase provides a marvellous opportunity to do something significant to ramp up supply quickly, as it is one of very few development-ready sites within the Far North,” she said.

“This Government has vowed to focus on the bread and butter issues. At least 30 per cent of the site will be either public housing, or homes at price points that are attainable for first home buyers.”

The homes are expected to be delivered in early 2025.

Northland becomes eligible for $100 million scheme for affordable rentals

The Minister also announced a second round of the Affordable Rental Pathway, which will now open to the whole of New Zealand, including Northland.

“It will offer $100 million in grant funding to not-for-profits to build new, affordable rentals,” said Minister Woods.

“Rising rents and living costs have put whānau under great financial stress. This funding boost recognises the urgent need for more affordable, long-term rentals for people who can’t meet the cost of a market rent but can’t access, or don’t need, public housing,” she said.

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