State housing boost promised for Hutt Valley
Housing New Zealand is set to build and refurbish 713 homes in the Hutt Valley, but the opposition has labelled it a belated vote-grabbing measure.
Housing NZ Minister Amy Adams says $9.5 million will be spent building 30 new homes in Lower Hutt, while planning will commence ahead of the construction of up to 300 more in four sites in the suburbs of Naenae, Taita, and Waterloo.
Another $67.3m will be spent refurbishing 383 existing homes.
The mix of homes to be sold to market at affordable prices and social housing was important because Hutt Valley's enormous growth in recent years had made it a hot spot for young families, Ms Adams said.
"This will mean more housing for our vulnerable people, more homes for first-home buyers, and more vibrant communities," she said.
It comes as more than 250 Hutt Valley families remain on the waiting list for state houses and protests were held earlier this year over how much Housing NZ land was lying vacant in the region.
Ms Adams said Lower Hutt had 3800 state homes but many were old and cold or the wrong size and in need of refurbishment.
However, Labour candidate for Hutt South Ginny Andersen says the government is belatedly "calling in the bulldozers" because it is chasing votes ahead of September's general election.