State tenants to make way for workers

By Simon Collins

People will have to find new homes as Housing NZ redevelops properties.

Glen McIvor
Glen McIvor

State house tenants in many parts of Auckland will have to move, at least temporarily, as Housing New Zealand ramps up an aggressive programme of redeveloping some of its oldest and highest-value sites.

The corporation has gained Auckland Council "special housing area" status to fast-track redevelopments in Glen Innes, New Lynn and Takapuna. All will involve removing or demolishing existing state houses to make way for projects that will include homes for sale to private buyers as well as new state units.

Housing NZ chief executive Glen Sowry has also unveiled preliminary plans that are likely to result in the demolition of some of the city's oldest state housing off Parnell Rise - three concrete blocks in Cracroft St built in the 1960s and an adjoining row of flats in Bedford St dating from the 1940s. The blocks were valued in 2011 at $16.65 million.

Mr Sowry said requests for proposals for both the Parnell site and the Takapuna site in Lake Pupuke Drive would close this month and no decisions would be made until the proposals were assessed.

Bedford St tenant Glen McIvor, 48, said tenants were in the dark about the process.

"They did send us a letter quite a while ago saying they were doing an assessment," he said. "What happened after that was nothing."

The agency has taken a similar approach in Freemans Bay, where 42 former Auckland City Council pensioner flats are expected to be replaced by at least 80 new units in a mixed development.

The corporation is already well advanced on a controversial programme to remove or redevelop 156 state houses in two areas of Glen Innes to make way for 260 new homes - 78 state units, 39 other "affordable homes" and 143 for private sale.

- NZ Herald

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