Flaxmere will soon have 17 new homes and the provision for 18 social/transitional houses in a now empty piece of land.

Work will begin this week on the 1.8-hectare piece of land that sits between Flaxmere Ave, Kirkwood Rd and Tarbet St which will be home to the houses and a recreation reserve. Two lots of land will be set aside for 18 social/transitional houses.

Hastings District Council started considering what the land could be used for in 2018.

On Saturday, the council held a community open day at the site to outline the project, bless the land and have a ceremonial turning of the sod by Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst.

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Hazlehurst said the council is focussed on providing homes for the people of Hastings and is currently working on long-term housing solutions, especially for people living in motels or who are struggling to find emergency accommodation.

"We are working with the likes of Kainga Ora to provide transitional/emergency housing, to provide affordable housing, and to free up appropriate land to build other conventional housing.

"Getting the Tarbet St subdivision under way is a major milestone and we will remain focused on progressing other developments in the coming months."

Councillor for Flaxmere and Hastings Ambassador Henare O'Keefe despite the weather himself and fellow Flaxmere councillor Peleti Oli were both in "celebratory mode" at the open day.

He said the development will "help to lift the demeaner of Flaxmere."

"It says that to me that Flaxmere is not a liability, it's an opportunity."

He believes the development will help address the housing shortage in the suburb.

This development follows the start of the Waingakau housing project by Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga and council. This new development sits opposite Waingakau Village.

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Sites across the district are being looked at for a mix of social/transitional housing, affordable homes, and conventional homes.

The council is working with agencies including Kainga Ora, Te Puni Kokiri and Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga to progress housing consents.

Work has continued to free up appropriate land for greenfield residential subdivision and infill development across the district.

Due to the need to protect the districts fertile soils, a variation made to the proposed Hastings District Plan to make it easier to build residential units in the inner city.

Another variation to the district plan also occurred to provide for the increasing accommodation needs of seasonal workers in the district, allowing for worker accommodation to be built in the light industrial and general industrial zones at Omahu and Irongate.