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Wellington council to offer cheap, quality apartments for 'key workers'

Newshub logoNewshub 14/09/2018 Emma Hurley

a car parked on a city street © Provided by MediaWorks NZ Limited

Wellington City Council has unveiled a new approach to rental accommodation for "key workers" in the city.

It's entered into a 15-year agreement with developers The Wellington Company, to convert office spaces into 35 apartments on Willis St in the central city.

Mayor Justin Lester says the one, two, and three-bedroom apartments will be rented from $400 to up to $700 a week.

He says the scheme is aimed at people who are "the next step up" from those who are living in the city's social housing.

"For nurses, for teachers, for policeman, for fireman, for people who are earning a reasonable middle income but still struggle."

Five floors at Freemason House on 95-201 Willis St will be converted into 35 apartments, and the new name Te Kairanga Aroha has been gifted from mana whenua.

The apartments will be leased at below the market rate, with prices tied to the Consumer Price Index.

The apartments will meet modern earthquake standards, meet the Council's rental Warrant of Fitness, and have free wi-fi, LED lights and gas water heating.

The model is cost neutral to Council, and could be rolled out to additional buildings in the city that meet the criteria.

The first apartments will be available in a year's time.

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