Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities has purchased most of Tauranga City Council’s elder housing portfolio, ensuring an increase in public housing for the city, alongside ongoing affordable housing for existing tenants.
The $17.2 million deal comes with a commitment by Kāinga Ora to invest a further $32.4 million on upgrading and redeveloping the villages for public housing within the next 25 years.
Tauranga City Council Commission Chair Anne Tolley says the sale will lead to better housing outcomes for current and future tenants of the villages and for those in the wider community most in need of housing.
“As a public housing provider Kāinga Ora is much better placed than we are to redevelop the villages and upgrade the units, which are all in need of some TLC,” she says.
“The sale agreements take into consideration the age and condition of these older properties and the ongoing costs to maintain and provide warm, safe and dry public housing.”
She says agreements for a six-month transition process and the 25-year partnership agreement between the two parties will ensure current tenants are protected with affordable rents and security of tenure.
“The wellbeing of existing tenants is a top priority for both parties, and the agreements have been carefully written to ensure that they will always have a place to call home and be supported through any redevelopment from an early stage,” Anne says.
The purchase is part of the ongoing commitment by Kāinga Ora to increasing public housing across the country, including in Tauranga, with the seven villages having strong redevelopment potential.
Kāinga Ora Regional Director Bay of Plenty Darren Toy says the partnership between local and central government is good news for people in the city in need of public housing, as well as for existing tenants.
“This exciting opportunity will see us not only upgrading tenants’ current homes where needed, but further down the track redeveloping villages to create a larger number of warm, dry and modern homes.
“While we don’t have current redevelopment plans, we’ll be looking to explore these opportunities in the next two to three years, to support the strong demand for public housing in our fast-growing city.
“I would also like to extend a warm welcome to these tenants who will be joining our Kāinga Ora whānau in the coming months, and with our team look forward to meeting them very soon.”