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The Government has built 82 new social houses in the last year as Hamilton grows – with another 71 on their way, Social Housing Minister and Housing New Zealand Minister Amy Adams has announced.

“153 new social houses in two years means those vulnerable families in Hamilton in need have a warm, dry place to stay,” says Ms Adams.

Construction will start on the 71 new social houses this year, including 26 one- and two-bedroom homes at Jebson Place, with a number of other potential new builds and acquisitions under negotiation.

“Rapid growth in Hamilton means we need to increase the number of smaller social housing properties in Hamilton,” says Ms Adams.

“Nearly three quarters of social housing demand in Hamilton is now from single people, couples and small families. However, only about 50 per cent of Housing New Zealand’s Hamilton portfolio is suitable for this group.

“I’m pleased to also confirm that Housing New Zealand’s $12 million infill programme that was announced in May is now complete. It has made a significant and rapid impact, with 43 one- and two-bedroom houses built within a matter of months. It made sense to build the new infill homes on underutilised sections. Without needing to subdivide any sections, the new homes are very cost-effective and provide value-for-money for taxpayers.”

Ms Adams acknowledged the constructive relationship between Hamilton City Council and Housing New Zealand, which meant the project was able to be streamlined and the full consenting process fast-tracked.

“It was great to see Hamilton City Council working constructively with central government to help provide essential social housing projects for the city. Councils have a big role to play in solving demand for social housing in their communities, particularly through streamlining consenting processes to help us get houses built. We can build houses more quickly when councils cooperate. Hamilton City Council have done their ratepayers proud by being part of the solution.”

In addition to the 43 new infill homes, Housing New Zealand added another 39 new and fit-for-purpose homes to its Hamilton portfolio in 2016/17, replacing older homes at the end of their useful lifespan and increasing the portfolio’s alignment with demand. There was a net increase of 40 social housing homes in Hamilton during the year.

These replacement homes are in addition to Housing New Zealand’s $26 million investment on maintenance, upgrades and modernisation to its Hamilton portfolio over the last two years.

“It’s really important that in addition to building new homes, Housing New Zealand stays focused on maintaining its existing homes and bringing them up to a modern standard wherever possible,” Ms Adams says.

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