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Council agrees on land sale to fast track housing

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Waipā District Council’s proposal to sell a piece of land in Te Awamutu to Kāinga Ora has been given the green light and the housing could be ready as early as next year.

The decision to sell a portion of land at 1262 Cambridge Road follows community consultation that took place over the past month.

As a result of the consultation, 69 per cent supported or partially supported the sale and 31 per cent were against.

Council purchased the 3.7-hectare piece of land in Te Awamutu in 2017 for $690,000, tagging it for affordable housing, including for older people.

Kāinga Ora, the crown agency that provides housing for those in need, will be purchasing 1.4 hectares of the land at the market value rate of $2,682,500.

The land will be used to develop approximately 30 single-storey, one or two-bedroom homes for those 55 years and over.

Mayor Susan O’Regan says the decision makes complete sense as the development will provide much-needed affordable housing options for the district.

“There is a dire shortage of affordable housing in the Waipā district and the sale is a step in the right direction to help with this,” O’Regan says.

“The development will have clear criteria for tenants to be over 55 years and Kāinga Ora will be able to develop the houses much faster than council could – meaning housing will be available sooner for those who need it the most.”

Proceeds from the sale will go towards repaying the remaining council debt on the original purchase as well as investment in community projects. Council will also determine the highest and best purpose for the remaining 2.3 hectares of the land.

Council will now work with Kāinga Ora to finalise the sale and Kāinga Ora will start making tracks to get construction underway as soon as possible. Kāinga Ora will continue to keep neighbouring residents involved as design and construction progresses.

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