NEW Zealand needs more state housing. Not just in Auckland and not just in the main cities, but in smaller cities and towns like yours.
There’s a pretty simple reason for this – there are more people needing a home.
In the two years to December last year, nationally the housing register has increased by 77% from nearly 3500 people and families needing a home to 6182.
In Invercargill, over the same period, the housing register has continued to increase.
The numbers illustrate the increasing demand for state housing, but behind the figures are families and vulnerable people who need a place to call home.
If we don’t build more housing then we’re failing those families who are, in many cases, living in unacceptable living conditions.
At Housing New Zealand we’re meeting this challenge of getting more people into more homes. We’re building in the cities, but now we’re concentrating on meeting demand in regional New Zealand.
We haven’t had such an ambitious build programme since the 1930s and 40s when the Government built more than 30,000 homes in less than 15 years. Many of these homes, with their typical tiled roofs and wooden cladding, have served as homes for generations of Kiwis and still do so today.
We are set to build more state houses in regions such as yours, but they aren’t just houses, they’re places for people in real need of a warm, dry and safe place to raise their families and a place to call home.
We know from experience having a healthy home gives people a solid platform from which to build lives and communities.
In Invercargill, we’re looking to build three new homes, which add to the 354 we currently own in the city.
These modern homes are quite different from your typical state house built last century. The new, low maintenance homes will be fully insulated, with carpets, curtains and double glazing and easy to maintain sections.
We will begin constructing these new homes from mid-March and we should have people moving in by mid-year in time for winter.
These new houses have changed in design and materials since the typical state house of mid-last century, but they serve the same important purpose.
We look forward to hearing from new tenants as they move into their new, modern homes and we hope that you welcome these new families into your community.
– Greg Groufsky is the Housing New Zealand deputy chief executive