5 Aug 2021

Government marks adding 8000 additional public housing places

6:52 pm on 5 August 2021

The government says it has reached a milestone of 8000 additional public housing places across the country.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says across all 74,000 public houses, more than 6000 are new builds, that have been built since November 2017.

She celebrated the milestone at the opening of six newly built, one-bedroom state homes in the Christchurch suburb of Spreydon this afternoon.

Ardern said 85 percent of homes created by Kāinga Ora are now new builds, compared to 50 percent when she came into office.

"At the same time we were seeing, when we came into office, that a lot of houses were being demolished or sold and so we weren't seeing the growth in public housing that we needed.

"Now we're hitting a level the likes of which we have not seen built by a government in the last two decades."

Ardern said the government remains on track to add 18,000 public and transitional housing places by 2024.

Housing Minister Megan Woods said 8121 public housing places were added by Kāinga Ora and community housing providers between November 2017 and 30 June 2021.

She said 6503 of them were new builds and some replaced old houses allowing a greater number of homes to be built on the site.

Many were one-bedroom homes that matched that demand, were built to environmental standards and would "last the distance", she said.

Woods said she had told Kāinga Ora and the community housing sector that the expectation was that as many as these homes as possible should be new builds.

"Our public housing programme is supporting people with rent subsidies and places to live, as well as enabling more new homes to be built with infrastructure investment, and intensification of housing following the demolition of old housing that is no longer fit for purpose," Woods said.

"We are seeing massive growth in construction activity in the housing sector, with new home consents at an all-time high of 44,299, in the year ended June 2021.

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