The government will partner with community housing providers to build these homes, which will help to achieve a goal of more than 6,400 new public homes across New Zealand by 2022.
“We’re pleased the government has recognised that Horowhenua has a shortage of affordable healthy homes,” said Councillor Barry Judd, who is chair of the Community Wellbeing Committee.
“Our committee, which includes a wide range of central government and local service providers, has been working to ensure the needs of our communities are known to the government.
“Sadly, our levels of deprivation are up there with Northland and the East Coast – there is a significant need for more homes.”
Horowhenua is growing faster than independent economic analysts predict and a minimum of 244 new homes to be built every year for the next 20 years to meet demand.
Currently, more than a quarter of the district’s residents are over 65, and some struggle to find suitable and affordable housing – a problem that is being made worse by population growth and a 15% rise in house prices in the past year.
“About two-thirds of the 30 builds will be one-bedroom homes,” said Cr Judd. “These will be ideal for our more vulnerable elderly population and will be a welcome addition to the market.”
Alongside this, Horowhenua District Council is creating a Master Plan for a 2,000 home Gladstone Green development to the east of Levin and another large development opportunity in Foxton Beach that will soon be announced. Next month, Council will release its Growth Strategy, which identifies growth areas around towns and settlements throughout the district. Together, these projects will help reduce pressure on housing in the district.
“While the new public homes won’t be a complete solution, they will be a very welcome addition to the housing stock for the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Cr Judd.
“Everyone in Horowhenua should have a safe home to live in, and these homes will be an important part of improving the wellbeing of our people.”
Read the story on Scoop here.