Kāinga Ora has abandoned plans to turn a Fenton St motel into transitional housing for the homeless.
In a statement released to the Rotorua Daily Post today, Kāinga Ora Bay of Plenty Homes and Communities regional director Darren Toy said the Government's housing arm had no "ongoing interest" in the Wylie Court motel.
"Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities continues to explore a range of opportunities to increase housing for whānau in Rotorua, but can confirm it has not purchased and has no ongoing interest in the Wylie Court Motel," Toy said.
"Housing opportunities at this site were being explored, however, with agreement not being reached with the property owner, as can happen in any commercial negotiation, we are now no longer progressing this property for potential housing."
Toy said it was moving forward with the plans for 37 permanent public homes at the Ranolf St/Malfroy Rd site, and the other future medium-density housing development on the corner of this land.
"If permitted under Covid-19 alert levels, work is also planned to start late this month to upgrade the Boulevard Motel to make it suitable for transitional housing for over 80 people, while permanent homes are sought, with the first people to move in from late September.
"We have delivered 63 new warm and dry state homes in Rotorua in the past three years, and continue to investigate other purchase, lease, development and partnership housing opportunities.
"We will engage with the community about these when we are in a position to," Toy said.
Kāinga Ora had lodged an application for land use change with the council on July 29 for the Wylie Court site where it intended to house up to 142 people in the motel's 37 units for transitional housing.
Following news Kāinga Ora was considering the site, a petition was launched to stop Rotorua Lakes Council from granting resource consent for the motel.
The petition called on Rotorua Lakes Council to ensure all decisions around the zoning of Fenton St and the surrounding areas, including the Wylie Court proposal, were transparent and publicly notified.
Wylie Court, which has been vacant for several months, is owned by Te Arawa Group Holdings Ltd.