Council considering land sale to fast-track housing

Waipā District Council is considering selling land to Kāinga Ora so new housing for older people in the district can be fast-tracked.

Council purchased a 3.7 hectare land parcel in Cambridge Road in Te Awamutu in 2017, tagging it for affordable housing, including for older people. Council is now mulling over selling some of that land – 1.4 hectares –  to Kāinga Ora, the crown agency that provides housing for those in need.

If the sale goes ahead, Kāinga Ora would build approximately 30 single-storey one or two-bedroom homes, ring-fenced for those aged 55 and over.

Council deputy chief executive Ken Morris said there were two clear reasons why council was considering a potential sale  – need and speed.

“There is a dire shortage of affordable housing in Waipā, and this is impacting some of our most vulnerable citizens,” Morris said.

“If Kāinga Ora buy the land, they will be able to build social housing a lot faster than Council will ever be able to.  Potentially the construction of new homes could begin as early as next year.  If so, that will be a huge relief to some of our older local people who desperately need a home.”

If the sale goes ahead, proceeds will go towards repaying Council debt on the original purchase as well as investment in community projects. But it was not yet a “done deal”, Morris said.

“No deal will be done until we’ve heard from the community.  Consultation starts today and will stay open until May 11, so there’s time to people to have a say.”

Council and Kāinga Ora will hold an information session on Thursday April 27 at the Burchell Pavilion, next to the Te Awamutu i-SITE (1 Gorst Avenue) from 4-7pm with people from both organisations there to answer.

Feedback can also be provided via a link on Council’s website at www.waipadc.govt.nz/haveyoursay or via forms now available from the Council office in Te Awamutu or Cambridge.

 

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