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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Media release: First new home in Pomare

Housing Minister Nick Smith (centre)
with Hutt City Mayor Ray Wallace (left)

Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith today opened the first new home in the 150-house Pomare mixed housing redevelopment in Lower Hutt, Wellington.

"This first new Pomare home is the future face of social housing in New Zealand under the Government’s new policy which takes effect following this weekend. We are replacing old state house suburbs with mixed housing developments where homes are of better quality and more diverse in size and ownership,” Dr Smith says.

“We are deliberately replacing intensive state house subdivisions with mixed communities made up of state, social and privately-owned and tenanted housing. International experience and research findings have shown mixed housing communities lead to much better social outcomes. Developments like Pomare will be replicated in dozens of projects around New Zealand.”

 Up to 20 of the 150 new homes will be state houses for high-need families and another 20 will be administered by social housing providers, while the remainder will be on-sold as low-cost homes. There has been high interest in the pre-sales with 29 confirmed sales, five in the sales process, and only six still available for sale from the first 40 due to be completed this year.

“These homes are superior to the old, cold, damp houses they have replaced. They are fully insulated, have double-glazing, better ventilation and heat pumps. They have been planned around nearby amenities such as the health centre, enhanced green spaces and improved transport links. “This project is a public-private partnership between Housing New Zealand and City Living. This reflects our ambition to tap into the property development skills in the private sector to build and market more attractive and affordable mixed housing estates.

“These physical changes in Pomare’s housing are symbolic of the policy changes the Government is making in how we deliver housing assistance. From next week, Housing New Zealand will be one of many social housing providers that are able to offer subsidised housing and from Monday, the Ministry of Social Development will be responsible for assessing families for housing assistance.

“Pomare is changing for the better and so is the Government’s social housing policy. We want better quality housing and mixed developments where social housing is indistinguishable from others. Our goal is strong, safe communities of affordable housing and the dividend will come in improved social outcomes for families,” Dr Smith concluded.