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Extra stock ready in social housing

Social housing provider Kianga Ora [KO] has spent nearly $10 million opening two new social housing developments on 74 Oxford St and 244 High St in Masterton.

The developments come as part of a suite of builds and planned projects across Wairarapa after KO announced its return to the region in late 2022 after a 25-year absence.

KO Wellington regional director Vicki McLaren said there are now eight fully assessable two-bedroom homes at the High St development and seven fully accessible two-bedroom homes plus one fully accessible three-bedroom home at the Oxford St site.

“We are in the process of matching the homes with applicants from the Ministry of Social Development’s [MSD] housing register,” she said.

The region’s last available MSD housing register figures, measured in the first quarter of this year, indicated that 192 people were on the register across Wairarapa. McLaren said that KO’s main strategy for meeting the region’s need for more social housing is to leverage the acquisitions program.

In this program, all aspects of the planning, build, and final fit-out are given to a private developer; KO then purchases the completed build if it meets the agreed-upon specifications.

“We want to ensure the homes are of a high standard and meet the needs of our customers,” she said.

Both builds cost a total of $9,760,000. The High St development was contracted to Westwood Property Group [WPG], while the Oxford St project was completed by TW Property Limited [TWPL]; TWPL also recently completed a six-unit KO build at 86 Kuripuni St in Masterton. McLaren said that both builds were completed on time and on budget, with the High St site settled on May 20 and Oxford St settled on May 30.

New builds have also been completed in Masterton on Michael St, Kuripuni St, George St, Market St, and Irons St North, which now means KO has acquired a total of 60 homes, taking 62 people out of the housing register.

There are also projects at 65 Worksop Rd in Masterton, 20 Makoura Rd in Masterton, 256 High St in Carterton, and 48 Fitzherbert in Featherston.

Despite KO attracting attention lately after a report found it was hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, McLaren said all of the projects under construction are proceeding as planned.

Two more sites, 66 Woodward St in Featherston and 183-189 East St in Greytown, are in the early planning stages.

McLaren said these two sites are now under assessment as “we continue to align our build programme with Government direction and funding.”

Freddie Wilkie
Freddie Wilkie
Freddie Wilkie is a journalist at the Wairarapa Times-Age; originally moving from Christchurch, he is interested in housing stories as well as covering emergencies and crime.

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