Wellington council to build 750 social and affordable homes


Wellington Mayor Justin Lester has announced 750 new social and affordable homes for Wellington in the next stage of its housing upgrade programme.

He says it won't require extra rates funding; the money will come from a projected $51 million surplus over the next 10 years.

Half of the homes will be new units, the other half will be replacing outdated stock. The plan includes 105 units already announced in the Arlington development in Mt Cook.

Wellington City Council currently owns 2100 units.

"We want to make sure units are modern, warm, dry and safe," said Mr Lester.

"We've seen what's happened in Auckland - we don't want to be another Auckland, we want people who want to come and live in Wellington to be able to afford to do so".

Suburbs targeted in the plan include Newtown, Miramar, Strathmore and Wilton.

The majority of new units will be social housing, although the council has yet to work out what proportion will be "affordable" or rent-to-own.

Wellington mayor Justin Lester made the announcement today (Emma Joliff/ Newshub)
Wellington mayor Justin Lester made the announcement today (Emma Joliff/ Newshub)

What is affordable?

Mr Lester says it's hard to define whether that's three or four times the median household income at the time, but says he'd like homes to be less than the median price, which is currently $510,000.

He says he's lucky he has his own home, but also wants his kids to be able to afford a house.

"We need to keep up with supply and the demand that is required to sustain future populations, increased immigration and larger numbers of people wanting to live in Wellington," he says.

Deputy Mayor Paul Eagle says "This is a proposal where Wellingtonians who want to buy their own home can".

Mr Lester says Wellington is one of the few local entities that's retained social housing stock.

"Next week I'll be asking my councillors to agree to a new programme which will see us utilise council land better and develop quality new homes as fast as we can".