INDEPENDENT NEWS

Weymouth symbolic of Government's housing success

Published: Mon 25 Aug 2014 03:27 PM
Weymouth symbolic of Government's housing success
The Waimahia Inlet housing development at Weymouth consisting of 282 homes at the Government's first Special Housing Area is a flagship of the Government's new housing policies, Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith said today.
"This project is a flagship of the Government's housing policies because it moves away from state housing to community-owned social housing, because it was the first Special Housing Area under the Auckland Housing Accord which allows the fast-tracking of planning and resource consents, and because it proposes a mix of new social housing and privately-owned homes,” Dr Smith says.
“It will further benefit from the Government's new KiwiSaver HomeStart scheme because couples on low and middle incomes will now be able to acquire up to $20,000 from the HomeStart Grant scheme to purchase the new homes."
Dr Smith praised the development consortium of the Tamaki Makaurau Collective and the three community housing providers, Auckland and Onehunga Endowments Trust, Housing Foundation Limited and the Community of Refuge Trust for their work in progressing the development.
"This 16-hectare area was bare land just 10 months ago. The $102 million development involves 282 homes - 59 for social housing, 110 for community housing-led rent-to-buy and 113 for private buyers. The Government through the Social Housing Fund has contributed $29 million to support the growth of community-owned social housing," Dr Smith says.
"The developers have wanted to ensure that all of 113 buyers are owner-occupied and preferably first home buyers. The prices ranging from $335,000 for a two-bedroom through to $495,000 for a five-bedroom currently excludes people having access to the KiwiSaver first home buyer assistance. The benefit of KiwiSaver HomeStart is that all buyers will now have access to the more generous HomeStart grant of up to $20,000 grant for a new home.
"This development was only announced and approved as a Special Housing Area in October, and the resource consents granted in December. Six new roads have been built and complete infrastructure installed including streetlights, water, sewage, storm water and communications. Home construction of phase one's 92 homes commenced in July with the first homes due for completion in September. People who criticise this pace of construction have no practical understanding of the work of subdivision and housing. This is by historic terms a rapid and efficient development and a credit to the Auckland Council and development partners.
"Siteworks for phase two has commenced. The pace at which this project will proceed depends on the pace of the sale of the houses. HomeStart is going to generate thousands more buyers in this price range and will drive projects like Waimahia Inlet faster and incentivise more projects like it," Dr Smith concluded.
ends

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