Plans are underway to replace up to 250 state houses across Northland over the next couple of years in an ambitious plan to support families struggling to find affordable housing.
Kāinga Ora has submitted a resource consent with the Whangārei District Council to either remove or deconstruct four homes on McClintock St in Whau Valley and replace them with eight new two-storey buildings to be built by next year.
They will range from two to five bedrooms.
Three of the planned homes will include wheelchair access bathrooms and bedrooms, suitable for disabled tenants.
One home on Murdoch Crescent in Raumanga will also be either removed or deconstructed and three new ones built by 2023.
There will be one two-storey home with four double bedrooms, one two-storey with three double bedrooms and one one-storey with two double bedrooms.
All homes will be built, subject to WDC approval, to Homestar 6 and healthy homes standards.
The existing Kāinga Ora homes may be deconstructed and taken to a dump or sold to housing or iwi groups for $1 once they are checked for health and safety suitability.
"An iwi group may own land and, where possible, we'll sell them existing homes. We'll try and recycle as much as we can, and where we can't we'll take it to the dump," Kāinga Ora regional director for Northland Jeff Murray said.
The plan to replace the old homes, he said, was to provide families and those supporting elderly and disabled family members with new warm and dry accommodation.
"The plan is to have closer to 250 homes before June 2024 across the region and two-thirds of those will be in Whangārei. We are looking at a number of options, and once we finalise the preferred options we'll then seek funding."
Murray said Kāinga Ora has begun working with the local community on the redevelopment plan from the beginning of this year.
A plan for state houses in Ōtangarei, where Kainga Ora owned 40 per cent of the housing stock, were also being looked at, he said.
Of the 2254 homes Kainga Ora owns in Northland, Whangārei has 1450, Far North 687, and Kaipara 117.
Its budget allowed for a provision of about 2500 homes.
Murray said apart from redeveloping existing houses, the Government agency was also actively looking at buying land for housing development.
Meanwhile, work is well underway on 37 state houses on 3.2ha of land at Puriri Park Rd, Maunu, zoned for residential housing by WDC.
Kāinga Ora was given the green light by independent commissioners to build 15 one-bedroom duplexes, four two-bedroom duplexes, one three-bedroom standalone house, six three-bedroom duplexes, eight four-bedroom duplexes and three five-bedroom standalone homes.
Murray said seven homes would be completed by May this year.
Apart from the development on Puriri Park Rd, the Government will make 180 extra state houses available in Northland over the next two years.
There will be 105 in Whangārei, 65 in the Far North and 10 in Kaitaia.
Kāinga Ora is also negotiating with WDC to buy a car park site on Vinery Lane and build high-rise apartments as part of its plan to build 235 homes across Northland over the next three years.
The proposal is contained in the draft Te Tai Tokerau Regional Plan.