The successful completion of the Waimahia development that now accommodates more than 1000 people and which has delivered a new home every week for over four years is the sort of housing model that the Government should be replicating, National MP Dr Nick Smith said at today’s celebration in Weymouth marking the project’s completion.
“This $112 million Waimahia housing development is a wonderful success story and a huge credit to the community housing sector and iwi partners. It has delivered 295 genuinely affordable homes for modest and lower income families in a beautiful new coastal neighbourhood that includes a new early childhood centre, park, wetland and jetty.”
The Waimahia development was launched in October 2013 by then Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith and then Auckland Mayor Len Brown promising 282 homes. The project was the Government’s first special housing area, part of the surplus Crown land programme and was funded by the Social Housing Fund.
“This project has over achieved in delivering 13 more homes than promised. It exceeded budget enabling $3 million of the $29 million grant to be returned to the taxpayer. The project has taken nine months longer than the planned four years to complete,” Dr Smith says.
“First home buyers have acquired 234 of the Waimahia homes, with 91 purchased with a mortgage, 85 under shared equity and 58 under rent-to-buy schemes. The average price was $355,000 for two bedroom, $452,000 for three bedroom, $535,000 for four bedroom and $545,000 for five bedroom.
“The remaining 61 homes are rented to high need tenants at discounted rentals, as social housing and are owned by CORT Community Housing, Accessible Properties, the Monte Cecilia Trust, and Habitat for Humanity.
“Waimahia is one of over a dozen major housing developments initiated by the previous Government but it offers the most in helping shape future housing policy. Its major innovations is the rent-to-buy and shared equity schemes to help first home buyers and the partnering with community providers to provide social housing rather than traditional state housing.
“The scheme contrasts with KiwiBuild in that the homes are markedly more affordable than the private market and the buyers are lower income earners who would be unlikely otherwise to be able to own their own home.
“Waimahia is one of many housing initiatives taken by the previous National Government that is positively contributing to improvements in Auckland’s housing market. Supply is the most important issue and the number of homes being built has increased by 20 per cent each year over the past six years trebling from 4000 in 2012 to 12,000 last year.
“The proportion of homes sold to first home buyers has been increasing since 2015 when National’s HomeStart scheme was introduced that has since helped 50,000 kiwis nationwide into their first home.
“I am disappointed no Government Minister or Labour MP accepted an invitation to attend today’s opening. It would dispel their repeated claims that National did not build any affordable housing. They would also gain from the lessons of this project on how to help more Kiwi families into homes.”