First KiwiBuild homes welcomed in Queenstown, but cheaper homes needed - mayor

KiwiBuild will create affordable housing for some people in Queenstown, but they need to be cheaper if they are to be within the reach of many workers in the resort, the mayor says.

Housing Minister Megan Woods was at the former Wakatipu High School site on Wednesday to formalise the Government's agreement to build 105 KiwiBuild homes within a 350-home Ngāi Tahu development there.

KiwiBuild homes are available to first-home buyers in the area and will cost no more than $650,000 each, substantially less than the region's average house price of $1.2 million.

But Queenstown Lakes mayor Jim Boult wants more homes available for $350,000.

"For some people $650,000 is achievable but for some people it's not and that's where we're going to with the Secure Home project, which enables those people on lower incomes who are going to find it impossible to get into the housing market otherwise, to get there."

The deposit was achievable and mortgage repayments would be less than the $700 a week, the amount many people paid for rent, he said.

Secure Homes was set up by the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust. Buyers can purchase a property for $320,000 to $400,000, with a ground rent of 1.5 per cent of the land value, adjusted annually with inflation.

A masterplan for the Ngāi Tahu Tahuna housing development in central Queenstown.
A masterplan for the Ngāi Tahu Tahuna housing development in central Queenstown.

The lease arrangement runs for 100 years, with the trust retaining ownership of the land in perpetuity.

Boult said the trust planned to build 1000 Secure Homes by 2028 and talks were under way to have some included in the Ngāi Tahu development.

Housing was a major problem in the district, he said.

Woods said the first KiwiBuild homes should be available on the Queenstown site in 2022.

In neighbouring Wanaka,only seven KiwiBuild homes have sold so far, despite a serious housing crisis in the town.

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