Hastings receives $16m funding to boost affordable housing

Grant is on top of the $12m the district already allocated for housing infrastructure

Hastings receives $16m funding to boost affordable housing

The government has announced a $16m infrastructure investment to support the development of new housing in Hastings.

Housing Minister Megan Woods and Associate Minister for Housing Nanaia Mahuta revealed the commitment on Thursday, which comes after Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst lamented the lack of affordable housing in the community.

The funding is on top of the $12m the council has already allocated for housing infrastructure, bringing the total investment to $28m.

“Having a roof over your head is vital to people’s wellbeing,” Hazlehurst said. “Providing enough homes in the right places that are accessible to everyone is one of our region’s main priorities.”

Among those set to benefit from the grant is the Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga Waingākau housing development (Waingākau Housing Development Ltd) in Flaxmere. The first stage of the project is expected to deliver around 50 houses, including Te Puni Kōkiri- funded Te Ara Mauwhare pathways to homeownership homes.

Part of the funding will also be used to build more social and affordable housing alongside greenfield development opportunities.

The investment is expected to “generate and maintain jobs, provide construction activity, and promote economic confidence” in Hastings, according to Hazlehurst.

“This infrastructure funding will complement work already underway in Hastings to address our serious housing shortage,” she said. “Our community has one of the highest rates of households on the housing register on a per capita basis across New Zealand, and high numbers of Emergency Housing Special Needs Grants, and we need to change that.”

Hazlehurst added the co-investment was a major step towards that goal.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development commenced work with the Hastings District Council, Kāinga Ora, Te Puni Kōkiri, Ngāti Kahungunu, the Ministry of Social Development, and other key local players in April 2019 to respond collectively to housing needs in Hastings as part of what they called a “place-based approach.”

As a result of the collaborative work, the ministers unveiled in December 2019 a support package that will provide around 200 additional houses for low-moderate income households by mid-2021.

The project will be a mix of public housing, papakāinga affordable housing on Māori land, and other affordable housing. These will include an additional 160 public houses through Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities and will also involve replacing about 70 existing homes.