Housing crisis hits NZ Defence Force

The Defence Force (NZDF) is the latest victim of Auckland's housing crisis - it is struggling to find 75 homes for Air Force personnel and their families.

Since the end of 2015, NZDF has been on the hunt for 75 houses as replacements for those they are currently leasing in the area around the Whenuapai Air Force base.

Fifteen of the leases ran out in July last year, a further 45 will run out in July this year and NZDF will bowl 16 of the houses on the Whenuapai base to make room for other infrastructure.  

NZDF put out a tender on October 9, 2015. A month later when the tender closed there was no winner, and the deal to actually get any houses was only signed "recently".

An NZDF spokesperson confirmed the tender had been "met in part" by a deal dubbed the 'Whenuapai Housing Development Partnership'. That will see Pare Hauraki iwi, Te Temu Kainga (a charitable trust) and private company New Ground Capital provide just some of the houses they need.

"The NZDF has recently signed a contract with the Partnership to lease 49 properties in West Auckland. The properties are expected to become available in mid-2018 and will be leased for a period of five years."

"These properties will be brand new and a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments and townhouses located in the community in Whenuapai."

But it still needs to find an extra 26 houses in the area - and there are strict criteria.

The houses must be no more than 10 years old, they must be within 30 minutes' drive of the Whenuapai Airbase and preferably they should be "contiguous dwelling units" or on the same parcels of land.

They must also be available to lease for a five-year term.

NZDF says the hunt for these homes is ongoing.

"Work is underway to secure another 26 properties in the area to provide for NZDF personnel accommodation requirements."

Until all 75 houses are ready NZDF has had to make temporary arrangements for housing its staff.

"NZDF has taken extension on some leases and short fixed term rentals to cover the requirements."

The tender states the management of these leases over the five years is worth $3 million.