Hopes to start on affordable homes project

Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust executive officer Julie Scott. Photo: Supplied
Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust executive officer Julie Scott. Photo: Supplied

Work on a new, 65-unit affordable housing development at Arrowtown could start within a year if councillors give it the thumbs-up tomorrow.

The Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust has submitted a proposal to the Queenstown Lakes District Council, asking for it to transfer a 3.6ha site on Jopp St to the trust for an affordable housing development.

It proposes to build 65 houses of varying sizes on the site.

In a report to councillors, council staff recommend the transfer of land go ahead, subject to approval by Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

Trust executive officer Julie Scott was ''thrilled'' to have the proposal on the council agenda, after several years of planning.

''It's an understatement to say we're extremely pleased that we've finally got a proposal in front of councillors for consideration.''

The trust also wanted to be able to sell 10 of the resulting house and land packages on the open market at full value to help offset costs, but council staff have recommended not approving that.

Ms Scott said she could understand the council's position that it did not want to lose council land.

Under its current zoning, the land is valued at $3 million-$4 million.

With consent to develop 50-60 units, it was valued at $10 million-$11 million.

The total project cost is estimated to be about $27million.

If councillors follow that recommendation, Ms Scott said the Trust would look at other funding avenues, including community trusts and government funding.

While there would still be process to go through if councillors approved the proposal, Ms Scott said she hoped it could be expedited so work could begin.

''I'd like to think in 12 months we would have started civil work, if not earlier.''

According to the report, the trust is looking to build five one-bedroom units, with at least three likely to be allocated for senior housing, 20 two-bedroom homes, and 36 three-bedroom homes.

Last July, the trust confirmed it wanted to provide up to 70 ''warm, dry, affordable and secure'' homes on the site.

The proposed development is one of several on the agenda for tomorrow's council meeting.

Also up for consideration are the 600-house Coneburn development near Jack's Point, 423 units across two adjacent SHAs along Ladies Mile, and the controversial Laurel Hills development, a decision on which was deferred from the previous council meeting. Tomorrow's council meeting is at the council chambers on Gorge Rd in Queenstown, starting at 1pm.

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