Housing sale considered

A second complex of community housing units in Oamaru may be sold by the Waitaki District Council and the proceeds used to build more modern and efficient units.

Last year, the council sold the 17 units in the Clare St complex, clearing $610,000 after expenses.

That left it with 91 units in Oamaru, Hampden and Palmerston.

Now, the council is investigating selling four units in Dacre St, Oamaru, which it estimates could earn it another $210,000.

It also wants to discuss with the Waihemo Community Board the future of some of the community housing units in Palmerston.

In return, property manager Dougal McIntyre is suggesting proceeds from any of the sales be used to build six modern units on a 1012sq m site it owns in Aln St. Dunedin architect Ian Butcher has designed the units.

The proposal will be discussed at a committee of the whole council meeting on Tuesday.

Mr McIntyre said most of the council's community housing units were built between 1965 and 1989.

The newer complexes required minor renovation and the older ones, although requiring more work, were generally of a size and situation to be suitable well into the future.

However, the council could sell units it deemed unsuitable for renovation to free up capital to be used for new units.

Some funding was available from the Department of Building and Housing to assist, but much of this was being used in Wellington and for the rebuilding of Christchurch after the city's earthquakes, Mr McIntyre said.

Until seven years ago, maintenance was carried out at the request of tenants. Since then, the council had implemented a maintenance and improvement programme.

Demand for units had increased to the stage all were occupied and there was a waiting list.

The units were self-funded by rental income and not funded by rates. Income was $373,790 in the current financial year, with a predicted surplus of about $28,000 after depreciation, maintenance and refurbishment.

Already, the council had the $610,000 from the sale of the Clare St units. Selling the Dacre St units would bring in another $210,000, along with income from any units sold in Palmerston.

However, if the council agrees to sell the Dacre St complex, it would not be done until market conditions improved.

- david.bruce@odt.co.nz


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