Eleven new state homes designed to cater to the elderly and those with limited mobility have been opened in Whangārei.
Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford officially opened the 11 new state homes in Whangārei on Tuesday, saying finding affordable housing isn't just an Auckland or a Wellington problem, but just as big an issue in Whangārei.
The one-bedroom homes on Maunu Rd, are less than 500m from Whangārei Hospital, and have been designed for those with current or future mobility needs.
The entire project, including buying the 3,493sqm site, cost $3.35 million.
"Housing NZ is building not just for today, but for future generations. That means building for different family sizes, stages of life and needs," Twyford said.
"There is a real demand for one-bedroom properties and accessible homes for people with limited mobility. These warm, dry homes tick every box."
Five of the houses are fully accessible with ramps, wide hallways and wet-room showers, among other specifications. The other six homes have been designed to be able to be modified, if needed, in future.
Twyford says the homes are part of Housing NZ's Regional Housing Programme; the biggest state house building programme outside the main centres in more than a decade.
"Finding affordable housing isn't just an Auckland or a Wellington problem. Around a third of the demand for public housing comes from areas outside the main centres,'' he said.
"In Whangārei, demand for housing has been on the rise for a number of years, about 200 families or individuals are currently on the official state housing waiting list.
"The Regional Housing Programme aims to provide more public housing by making the most efficient use of state-owned land. That means replacing existing state houses with more new homes for people and families in need.
''Housing NZ is also buying new homes in areas close to key services and where people want to live, as is the case with these Maunu Rd houses. I look forward to opening more new state housing around the country this year as we move towards our target of 6400 more public housing places over the next four years."
Around 180 of those 6400 new state homes will be in Northland. Ministry of Social Development deputy chief executive for housing, Scott Gallacher, said 105 would be in Whangārei, 65 in the Far North District and 10 in Kaitaia.