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Wellington Council to build 750 homes

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/02/2017

Wellington City Council says it's going to build 750 affordable homes in a bid to avoid an Auckland-style crisis.

The building plan has been announced as the next part of the council's 20-year-old Housing Upgrade Programme.

Announcing the plan on Thursday, Mayor Justin Lester said some of the homes will be social housing, while others be aimed at first-home buyers.

Half would replace current "outdated stock", he said.

"We know we need a new approach to social and affordable housing so that we don't end up like Auckland.

"We aren't just going to sit on the sidelines and leave social and affordable housing to the market."

Mr Lester said many of the homes would be completed within three years, including 105 currently under construction at the more than $30-million Arlington site 2, between Taranaki and Hopper streets in Te Aro.

Councillor Paul Eagle said the plan would have no effect on rates because of reinvestment from the sale of outdated or ill-suited stock.

There is currently a waiting list of about 303 people looking for social housing in the area, according to the council.

The Green Party welcomed the move as an "example of how to help solve the housing crisis".

"This is the kind of affordable house-building project that could and should be happening all over New Zealand, not just in the capital," co-leader James Shaw said.

Labour's Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson said central government had failed to address the problems of rising rents and housing affordability.

"Wellington City Council is a leader on public housing and recognises that having enough decent affordable housing is vital to the wellbeing of its communities," he said.

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