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Fifteen new state houses will be built in Dunedin this year, amid increasing concerns over the city’s house prices.
Kainga Ora, the new government housing agency launched in October, announced the new homes this week — the same week it was revealed Dunedin’s average house price had crossed the $500,000 mark for the first time.
The new houses will be built in Forfar St, Church St, Queen St and Helensburgh Rd.
Construction will begin within the next few weeks, and completion dates will be throughout the year.
The department would not disclose the total cost of the houses, saying it was a ‘‘multimillion-dollar project’’.
Assistant regional manager Liz Krause said the investment included a range of homes of different bedroom numbers and sizes and would be delivered across several suburbs to help meet demand for public housing.
‘‘The investment will help modernise [Kainga Ora’s] housing stock as well as providing more modern, warm, dry homes for tenants and their whanau.’’
Kainga Ora owns 1389 homes in the Dunedin district.
‘‘Were really proud to have built some new homes in the last year in Dunedin for our tenants and it’s wonderful to see that will continue in this current financial year,’’ Mrs Krause said.
Responding to the house-price figures this week, Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said Dunedin’s housing ‘‘crisis’’ would get worse before it got better.
The council was exploring ways to encourage infill development, he said.