Govt and council-owned Tamaki Redevelopment Company gets $200m loan and 2800 state homes, and says it will work with community as it builds new housing.
A $200 million loan plus ownership of state houses worth $1.2 billion have given the Tamaki Redevelopment Company clear financial clout to speed up new housing development in Auckland's eastern suburbs.
The company, owned 59 per cent by the Government and 41 per cent by Auckland Council, will take possession of Housing New Zealand's 2800 state houses between West Tamaki Rd and the Panmure Basin between November and next March.
The Government has also given it a $200 million loan facility "to move more quickly on detailed planning, acquiring land, and starting to build more houses and related infrastructure".
The two decisions transform the company from a purely planning and community development agency into a well-funded property developer, although it is also expected to seek partnerships with private developers and community housing providers.
Its communications manager, Peter Fa'afiu, said the funding gave the company the opportunity to accelerate progress.
"It's partly planning. We also have the opportunity to find some development partners and lift the capability of the organisation in terms of procurement of development, and the opportunity to look at land in the area not owned by the Crown or the council."
The redevelopment area includes about 1160 owner-occupied houses and just over 1000 private rental properties, as well as the 2800 state houses.
The company's newly appointed chief executive, John Holyoake, said redevelopment would start in areas now wholly owned by Housing NZ, but the company would be "working with all of the community including private owners".
Ngati Whatua Orakei Whai Rawa chief executive Rob Hutchison said Ngati Whatua was open to options for the former Tamaki Girls College site in Taniwha St.
It planned a retirement village there in 2008 with its Eastcliffe Retirement Village partner Taharoa C, but that joint venture has been dissolved and the land is now owned solely by Ngati Whatua.
"Is it a possibility that we sell the land?" he said. "I think it's a possibility, but the land itself does have some cultural positives for Ngati Whatua Orakei, so it's something that would need to be worked through quite carefully."
Finance Minister Bill English said the ownership transfer of the Tamaki state houses was separate from the Government's plans to sell 1000 to 2000 state houses this year.
Further announcements on this would be made "in the next month or so". The Government said the Tamaki transfer was "largely a transfer within the Crown" and would include "an arrangement that ensures that all value pertaining to the land and houses remains with the Crown".
Mr English said about 7500 houses would be built over the next 10 to 15 years to replace 2500 existing homes. A majority would be sold to private owners but "there will be at least as many social houses in Tamaki as the 2800 there now".
New owner, new hope
Tamaki state house tenant Aroha Robson learned she had a new landlord when she spotted a man delivering leaflets yesterday. Ms Robson, 59, had no idea what he was doing until she opened the leaflet.
"Well, blow me down with a feather, it's from Housing NZ, about the new transfer that is going to be happening from Housing NZ to the Tamaki Redevelopment Company," she said.
"It says here: 'The important facts you should know: everything is going to be kept the same'.
"I hope it does. I hope they don't come back two years later and say now we're going to change."
Ms Robson's home in Taniwha St, Glen Innes is where she and her six siblings were born. Her partner and their daughter both died in their 30s of a rare condition called Marfan syndrome, and Ms Robson now cares for her three granddaughters aged 8 to 18, and for 18-year-old Huiaterangi's son Aaron, aged 19 months.
Her three granddaughters have all inherited Marfan syndrome, which gives them unusually long arms and legs and causes complications which mean frequent hospital visits.
"You just grow and grow and grow, and as your body grows fast your organs are racing to keep up," Ms Robson said.
The older girls are outgrowing their beds and Ms Robson has unsuccessfully applied to Housing NZ for a bigger house. She doesn't want one of the new two-storey units that Housing NZ has built in the first stage of the redevelopment.
"I would have difficulty with stairs," she said. "And I know my grandchildren would too because of their condition."
New housing initiative
What are the new decisions?
The Tamaki Redevelopment Company will take over Housing NZ's 2800 state houses between West Tamaki Rd and the Panmure Basin and has a $200 million Government loan to build more homes.
How many houses does the redevelopment area include?
1160 owner-occupied houses, just over 1000 private rental properties, and the 2800 state houses.
How many houses will be built?
7500 over 10 to 15 years, replacing about 2500 existing homes, a net gain of 5000.
Who will own them?
A majority will be sold to private buyers. At least 2800 will be "social housing" likely to include some sold back to Housing NZ.