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Work is set to begin on a significant project to build and refurbish over 700 homes in the Hutt Valley, Social Housing and Housing New Zealand Minister Amy Adams has announced.

“The Hutt Valley is a dynamic community which has seen enormous growth in the last few years as it becomes a hot spot for young families. We want to support our growing communities, which is why I’m announcing today that the Government will build and refurbish 713 houses in the Hutt Valley,” says Ms Adams.

“While Housing New Zealand has 3800 social houses in the Hutt Valley, many are the wrong size and some are in need of refurbishment, so our plan is build more houses and bring hundreds of others up to modern standards.”

Details of the development include:

Building 30 new social houses on four sites in Lower Hutt, with work commencing immediately, at a cost of $9.5 million Commencing master planning for up to 300 further homes across four sites in Epuni, Naenae and Waiwhetu Refurbishing 383 existing homes to make them warm and dry, and bring them up to standard, at a cost of $67.3 million

“Work will begin right away at the four initial sites, with the first new homes to be completed by mid-2018,” says Ms Adams.

“This is a significant development for the Hutt Valley community. These new builds will be a mix of social, affordable and market homes. This will mean more housing for our vulnerable people, more homes for first-home buyers, and more vibrant communities.

“Master planning is underway for four sites in Epuni, Naenae and Waiwhetu to develop three hectares of land into up to 300 new houses. More detail will be made available once the masterplan is finalised, which will be delivered by the end of 2017.

“A development of this scale is about more than just building houses – it’s about creating a community – so it’s important that Housing New Zealand follows robust planning and community engagement before development begins.

“The houses in the Hutt Valley are in good locations, but many are old and cold, and in need of renewal. Housing New Zealand will retrofit 383 homes with new kitchen and bathroom upgrades, insulation, and new heating to help bring them up to modern standards, meaning tenants can enjoy them for years to come.”

This project is on top of the work already completed in the Hutt Valley, with the transformative 109-house urban regeneration development at Pomare completed in 2016 and 179 homes earthquake-strengthened and modernised over the past four years.

“I want to acknowledge the advocacy and commitment local MP Chris Bishop has shown in seeing progress on this issue. It’s important to have a strong voice who is prepared to stand up for and make a real difference to the local community on issues that matter to them.

“This is all part of the Government’s investment into more social housing for vulnerable New Zealanders, and is a significant investment into the Hutt Valley.”

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