25 Apr 2019

Auckland's North Shore gets 23 new state houses to ease 'crisis'

9:05 am on 25 April 2019

An official opening for 23 new state houses on Auckland's North Shore was held this afternoon.

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Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford says new state houses are urgently needed to help ease the housing crisis. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford opened the 23 home development on Chippendale Cres in Birkdale.

The project is part of Housing New Zealand's transformation of old housing stock, with the 23 homes replacing seven houses built in the 40s and 60s.

Mr Twyford said increasing the state housing stock was critical.

"We know that the single most important thing we can do to house homeless people and to ease the terrible stress that the housing crisis has put on people at the bottom end of the rental market.... is build more public housing," he said.

The government was on track to meet its target of 1600 additional state houses by the end of the financial year (mid-2019), Mr Twyford said.

He said as of the end of March, just over 1100 homes had been built, but he expected the rest would be completed in the next few months.

An extra 6,400 public houses are planned over the next four years.

The 18 two-bedroom and five four-bedroom homes would help meet high demand for public housing for families in need in the Birkdale and Auckland region, he said.

"In the wider Kaipatiki Local Board area, the demand for housing has been on the rise for a number of years. Since December 2017, the number of families or individuals waiting for a state house has nearly doubled to about 150," he said.

"Between this redevelopment, and two others on the same street, Housing NZ has better utilised this land and transformed 12 old state homes that were no longer fit for purpose into 40 new two, three and four-bedroom homes for families in need."

There are about 140 active construction sites in Auckland as part of the Auckland Housing Programme.

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