It is now up to the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing
Trust to deliver its pledge of a $3.6 million affordable
housing development in Arrowtown following a $1 million grant
from Housing Minister Nick Smith.
Trust chairman David Cole said the next steps were to sign
the contract transferring the land at 11 to 21 Suffolk St
from the Queenstown Lakes District Council to the trust and
to finalise detailed working drawings of the proposed 10
rental housing units, including two units for elderly
residents, in association with the Arrowtown Design Group.
The trust will also maintain Arrowtown Rugby Club access to
its facilities until the new sports centre on Jack Reid Park
is complete. Mr Cole could not give a date when construction
on Suffolk St would begin, but he said the trust had
completed the last of its 27 houses in Lake Hayes Estate this
week and was now able to seamlessly move on to its new
Less than 24 hours after the council resolved to transfer the
land on the condition of Government funding, Dr Smith
announced the grant from the social housing fund.
''I applaud the Queenstown Lakes District Council for
transferring council land for this community social housing
development,'' Dr Smith said.
''I commend the council for ignoring some vocal local
nimbyism against the provision of more affordable housing in
Mark Kramer, one of several Arrowtown residents who opposed
the project during the council meeting's public forum on
Tuesday, said yesterday the land was ''strategically vital
for future civic growth''.
''The general consensus of opinion here is it's a ludicrous
decision. A huge number of ratepayers are extremely angry
about it ... We don't seem to have had anything but arrogance
and posturing and ... disregard for the valid opinions of
Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden said yesterday it was
important to recognise the value the housing trust brought to
Affordable housing was a major challenge for many hardworking
people who were vital to the district, she said.
''I really hope that as a community we can take a breath and
start to work constructively to an outcome everyone benefits
Mr Cole said the grant enabled the trust to build the
dwellings at a lower cost than a private developer and offer
a lower rent. The trust would provide the remaining $2.6
million through borrowing.
Eligibility criteria included the tenant being a New Zealand
resident and at least one member of the household being in
full-time employment. Tenants may not sub-lease the property
or own other property and must be in the low- to
medium-income bracket, Mr Cole said.
''The onus is now on the trust to build a quality development
that reflects the Arrowtown character and enhances
residential street values. That's what we will deliver.''