Prime Minister opens new Palmy social housing

Published on 13 July 2021

The prime minister smiles as she opens the new homes council has built in Papaioea Place.

More Palmy people will have a place to call home following today's opening of 18 new social housing units in Palmerston North.

The remaining 10 Stage 2 units will be ready in October.

The government's Covid-19 recovery response infrastructure programme contributed $4.6 million towards Stage 2, with Council funding the remaining 600,000 dollars.

Mayor Grant Smith says the government funding has played a vital role in getting these homes built.

"Council had approved funding for the stage 2 homes, but receiving government funding meant we could start the construction earlier than intended, and has meant we've been able to allocate those funds to build a further 7 homes on the site next year, and a community lounge. This funding assistance is directly helping more Palmy people get into warm, dry and safe accommodation."

The development has been designed with accessibility front and centre, and with leading urban design principles. They've been built as one-storey homes for our social housing residents who may be older or have different accessibility requirements. They're double glazed and well insulated, earning a 4-star Lifemark certification.

Large group of residents, iwi, politicians and council officers gathered in front of the new homes.

More homes are coming

Papaioea Place used to be home to 48 houses, but their condition was rapidly deteriorating. In 2017, Council began demolishing these old units in stages, and started to build new homes on the site.

Stage 1 of the project saw 50 new homes built. Once complete, Stages 2 and 3 will have added another 35 homes and a tenant lounge to the complex. This lifts the total number of homes to 85 – a 77% increase!

Council continues to invest in housing

In Council's 10-year plan, which was adopted last Wednesday, we will spend an additional $14 million on social housing over the coming years. We're currently determining whether that will be on new sites or following a similar model to what we've done at Papaioea Place, that is maximising existing social housing land allocations.

Chief Executive Heather Shotter says Council is committed to getting more people into home ownership across our city.

"We need an additional 13,000 homes in our city by 2050. We therefore need to ensure adequate land is appropriately zoned and serviced to streamline the city's growth. We're currently working on plan changes that allow that in a number of locations, as well as consulting on changing the status of some land for housing."

She says Council is leading by example and later this year, sections at Council's Tamakuku Terrace subdivision will be for sale. It's the first time in decades Council has converted its own land into sections for housing.

The city's District Plan also has a range of levers helping to ensure a range of housing is available by actively encouraging infill housing, multi-unit housing development, minor dwellings, apartments and working with developers on their consents to make it easier to progress these forms of development in our city.

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