NZ Election 2020: Government investing $500m into upgrading, renewing state homes

It will see around 1500 older state homes upgraded and renewed in 30 towns.
It will see around 1500 older state homes upgraded and renewed in 30 towns. Photo credit: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly.

The Government has confirmed it is investing $500 million into the upgrade and renewal of state homes across the country.

The multi-million dollar expansion of the Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities Retrofit Programme will see around 1500 older state homes in 30 towns and cities upgraded and renewed over the next two and a half years.

Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi said the upgrades would make the homes warmer, drier, and healthier for tenants.

"When we came into Government we not only pledged to reverse the large-scale sell-off of public housing, we also undertook to improve the quality of public housing available to New Zealanders and their whānau through safer, warmer, drier, healthier homes, and this investment in the Kāinga Ora Retrofit Programme honours that pledge," he said.

Improvements include full insulation, double glazing, improved air-tightness, ventilation and new heating.

Work on some homes may also include upgrading bathrooms and kitchens, converting homes to a more modern, open plan living layout, and making the homes more accessible.

"This will bring these older homes up to, or above the new build and Homestar 6 standards and will meet the Government's Healthy Homes Standards.

"It also gives these properties, most of which were built in the 1950s and 1960s, a new lease on life meaning they'll provide quality public housing for another 50 years," Faafoi said.

Work on these homes is expected to start later this year.