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State-owned housing delays

The first state-owned houses in Wairarapa for more than two decades were meant to be ready for tenants to move into last month, but Kainga Ora has confirmed the project is behind schedule.

Kainga Ora Regional Director Greater Wellington Region Vicki McLaren estimates the 14 social housing units will be finished “in the coming weeks … slightly longer than originally anticipated due to a range of factors that can impact any development at the moment, including poor weather and supply and resourcing issues”.

“Along with our build partner, we are all working hard to get these finished as quickly as possible,” she said.

McLaren said Kainga Ora is waiting on the code of compliance to come from the council before they can begin placing people in the houses.

These houses are the first of about 50 social housing units scheduled to be built in Wairarapa and will be the first state-owned houses in the region since its stock was sold to Trust House in 1999.

Some of the next batch of Kainga Ora houses on Masterton’s George St are still on track to be completed in a few months, with the rest due mid-next year.

McLaren confirmed Kainga Ora is also looking at building four new homes in Greytown on its East St site, with the intention of starting construction later this year and with completion by mid to late 2024.

The final development under discussion in Woodville has yet to have dates set for construction or completion.

As of March this year, 162 people in Wairarapa needed social housing, according to the Ministry of Social Development’s housing registrar,

Six people were registered as priority B, which refers to applicants who have a serious housing need and includes households with a significant and persistent need.

Masterton had 123 people on the waiting list – nine less than in December 2022 – while Carterton had 18 and South Wairarapa had 21.

An additional 3000 public homes nationwide have been promised with funding from the government’s recently released Budget 2023.

Wairarapa MP Kieran McAnulty said the locations of this additional social housing are still being decided but that he has “already put the case for Wairarapa’s share”.

An update will be made in the next few weeks on how many more state houses will be destined for the region.

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Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age, originally hailing from Wellington. She is interested in social issues and writes about the local arts and culture scene.

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