The first completed houses at the Awatea housing development in Christchurch were opened this morning by Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith, who welcomed today’s milestone as further progress in improving the supply and affordability of homes in the city.
“The Government’s priority for the post-earthquake housing market in Christchurch is increased supply with a particular focus on new, quality homes priced for people on modest incomes," Dr Smith said in a statement.
"The Awatea housing development will deliver a total of 238 homes once fully complete, with 40 per cent of those below $400,000."
22 of the first completed homes in Stage One of the Awatea residential development will be priced between $350,000 and $390,000.
"The affordable price range is in line with the $450,000 house price cap for the Government’s HomeStart scheme, which provides grants of up to $20,000 for first home buyers,” Dr Smith says.
The Awatea project is one of three being advanced under the Christchurch Housing Accord agreed between the Government and the council. The 11.5-hectare site was previously empty land owned by the NZ Transport Agency.
Fletcher Living was selected as the Government’s private sector partner to develop housing on the site in October 2014 following a competitive procurement process.
Progress is also continuing at the other two developments under the Housing Accord – Welles Street and Colombo Street in the inner-city – with construction now well underway at both sites.
The combination of the housing developments at Awatea and Welles and Colombo Streets, and the Government’s 600-home initiative at Riccarton Racecourse will deliver a total of more than 1000 new houses for Christchurch.
“The completion of these projects in the pipeline means that Christchurch will soon have the safest and warmest stock of private, state and community housing in the country," said Dr Smith.
"This is a testament to the collaborative efforts made by central and local government, together with the private sector. I commend Fletcher Living for the pace at which they have delivered these new, modern homes today, and I look forward to opening more houses as they are completed."