Millions could be borrowed for 85 new social housing units

The city council may borrow up to $25 million in order to construct 85 social housing units.

At Thursday's meeting, city councillors will decide whether or not to borrow the $25 million.

If councillors agree to borrow the money, it will be lent to the Otautahi Community Housing Trust (OCHT) to build the 85 new units and also plan the construction of a further 54.

The trust will have to repay the loan and any interest within 25 years.

The proposal is rates neutral, with the trust having to fund all the money needed to meet the city council’s borrowing and administrative costs.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel saw it as a "win win."

"Essentially the loan is being presented to council at no cost to the ratepayer and very low risk to the ratepayer," she said.

This comes after OCHT had to put a temporary halt to the installation of heat pumps in hundreds of social housing units across the city.

The trust was aiming to install heat pumps in more than 900 homes by the start of winter as part of its Warm and Dry initiative.

However, it had to pause on the joint initiative to protect the safety of tenants and contractors under alert level four restrictions.



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