Thursday, July 18, 2024

Wellington council commits to increase affordable housing

Wellington City Council’s Pūroro Rangaranga – Social, Cultural and Economic Committee has unanimously committed to proactive developments to increase the supply of affordable housing in Wellington.

Council has announced three new buildings as part of Te Kāinga – its affordable rental programme – and said it was committed to delivering 1,000 homes in the next five years.

The three new buildings are:

  • 53 Boulcott Street: 37 units, delivered in February 2022,
  • 203 Willis Street: 48 units, delivered in February 2022,
  • 178 Willis Street: 124 units, staged delivery from February 2023.

A fourth building will be announced once commercial negotiations conclude.

“Apartments in Te Kāinga are aimed at Wellington’s essential public sector workers,” said Wellington Mayor, Andy Foster.

“It is a priority that the Capital can continue to provide homes for, and look after the people who serve our city and nation, and addresses stories such as those citing a crisis in housing for bowel screening nurses.

“Te Kāinga targets are ambitious, but necessary to ensure that we realise Council’s vision that all Wellingtonians are well-housed.”

Chair of Pūroro Rangaranga, Councillor Jill Day said, “The housing market is putting unfair pressure on Wellingtonians in the public service. We understand that, and are committing to 1,000 Te Kāinga apartments, either delivered or under contract in the next five years. Our public sector workers on moderate incomes can continue to call Wellington home.”

Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons said, “The target of 1000 affordable rental homes within five years will really start to create a secondary market of affordable rental housing in Wellington where rents increases are minimum. We must ensure Wellington is a city where people can work and live.”  

Te Kāinga provides affordable rental apartments by not increasing rents with the market rate, and only increasing rents where necessary to ensure the programme continues to have no impact to rate payers. This means these apartments remain more affordable than in the private market.

As well as delivering new buildings, Council agreed a regional approach to housing would be key to solving the region’s housing shortage.

As part of the Strategic Housing Investment Plan, the first proactive development for City Housing is making good progress. The Harrison Street redevelopment in Brooklyn has recently received resource consent and will be submitting building consent this month for nine new family homes.

The Strategic Housing Investment Plan also investigates opportunities to intensify housing on existing Council properties. Officers are undertaking feasibility studies on five existing social housing properties for further development. Early works show the potential for an additional 100-150 new homes.

As part of this work, Council officers are also proactively engaging with Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o te Ika to explore joint development opportunities.

Council’s Pūroro Āmua – Planning and Environment Committee will receive a further update on housing affordability and development in October 2021.

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