New social housing near for Masterton

7:07 pm on 30 October 2019

A deal to build 20 new social houses in Masterton at the end of Iorns St on land owned by developer David Borman is near and he is in talks for another 20 at the site, taking the total to 40.

Aerial view of Masterton, including rural hospital.

Masterton. Photo: rescuedave/123RF

The prospect of long-awaited new-builds to relieve the social housing crisis comes as a submission by Masterton District Council on national urban planning policies reveals there are 1000 allotments in consented subdivisions in Masterton within the urban boundary.

Mr Borman said that meant that 1000-odd sections, not building permits, and lots in subdivisions were released over time.

Moreover, the new houses were not affordable for many, including the ones just under the $500,000 price-point.

He said he had been working with community housing providers for more than a year to build social housing for Masterton.

Trust House had turned him down as they wanted to work on their own housing stock but he was close to signing a deal with another community housing provider to build the initial 20 houses.

They would be "quite smart" and "not flats", and would have green space around them, he said.

The community housing provider, which he declined to name, would buy the houses and would manage the tenants.

He said there were about six community housing providers and he was also talking to some of them about building the second lot of 20 houses, and an option for them was a lease arrangement.

There was a desperate need for new social housing and while there had been many new homes built in Masterton, it had not been in the social housing space, he said.

The council submission said building consents had increased, with 178 new dwellings in the 2018/19 year.

The local economy had been strong, expanding by 2.3 percent in 2018/19, which was greater than Wellington's increase of 2.1 percent, the submission said.

Mr Borman said private funding would be used for the social housing project but the houses would ultimately be part of the new social housing for the region promised by the government.

He did not elaborate on the details, saying some social housing providers were "government departments in a roundabout way".

Last year, the government announced 80 new public housing places, including 50 in Masterton, would be built in the area covered by the Wairarapa electorate by 2022.

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