New House

700 Homes by 2015

The Government will be keeping a ‘‘blowtorch’’ on Housing New Zealand to ensure 700 new homes are built in Christchurch by 2015.

Housing Minister Nick Smith yesterday launched a $170 million project to replenish the city’s earthquake damaged Housing New Zealand stock.

The ‘‘ambitious’’ plan calls for the houses to be built at a rate of one every working day from now until the end of 2015. The first would be ready by September.

Smith described the project as the ‘‘biggest Government house-building programme in Christchurch’s history’’.

Work was already under way on urgent and emergency repairs to 27,000 Housing New Zealand properties and substantial repair work to 5000 houses, with the building programme the final part of the Government’s plan.

Smith said the programme was ‘‘pretty ambitious’’.

‘‘I will be keeping the blowtorch on Housing NZ and its contractors to make sure those targets are met.’’

The project would let Housing New Zealand move away from ‘‘ghetto-like’’ largeblock state housing, he said.

‘‘We are building more one-, two- and four-bedroom state houses to match today’s more diverse needs [and] we are making better use of the land and building a lot more homes.

‘‘By the end of 2015 we will have the same number of houses [as] pre-earthquake, but they will be better, they will be safer, they will warmer and I think that will be a tremendous outcome.’’

The Government planned to sell some of the new houses to other social housing providers and to first-home buyers as affordable homes, he said.

The new homes would be energy-efficient, with double glazing, full insulation and clean heating.

The 700 homes would be built on 200 Housing New Zealand sections in Addington, Avondale, Avonside, Bryndwr, the central city, Hei Hei, Linwood, North New Brighton, Northcote, Phillipstown, Riccarton, Richmond, St Martins, Shirley, Somerfield, Spreydon and Upper Riccarton.

Contracts have been signed for 49 houses, 215 are under negotiation, 58 are in the market, 340 are out for consultation and the remaining 38 are in the planning stage.


  • The Press
  • Marc Greenhill

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