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'Affordable Housing underway at Wanaka subdivision Hikuwai'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust’s ground-breaking assisted ownership model, Secure Home, is coming to Wānaka for the first time - with six houses under construction at Hikuwai.

QLCHT is building two 2-bedroom, three 3-bedroom, and one 4-bedroom houses with local building firm Breen Homes at the popular subdivision. Construction is due for completion April 2021.

QLCHT executive officer Julie Scott says the Trust is currently planning to allocate four of the properties into its assisted ownership model, Secure Home. The first of its kind in New Zealand, Secure Home is a programme where people purchase the properties through a 100-year land lease arrangement, with the Trust retaining ownership of the land in perpetuity.

"We have received a lot of interest from our waiting list for people wanting to purchase one of these homes through Secure Home. It’s exciting to be able to offer this programme to the residents of Wānaka for the first time," Scott says.

The remaining two properties will be retained as long-term rentals through the Trust’s various rental propgrammes.

The six sections were transferred to QLCHT by the developer, Exclusive Developments Ltd, as part of its obligation when the land was rezoned from rural to residential. This process, known as inclusionary zoning, enables a small portion of the value uplift created through the upzoning of land, to be shared with the community for the purposes of affordable housing.

Hikuwai developer Lee Brown says: "Although our development includes a portion of sections already pitched at the more affordable end of the market, it’s rewarding to know we are playing a role in helping a small number of families into their own homes, who would not otherwise be able to access home ownership."

Wanaka-based QLCHT Trustee Phil Smith says Hikuwai is a sought-after subdivision. "Property sales have remained strong for Wānaka post-COVID-19, and the Hikuwai subdivision provides good value for money. It’s in a desirable north-facing location, and just five minutes' drive to the town centre, schools and the shores of Lake Wānaka."

Established to manage and deliver affordable housing solutions to residents who cannot afford it, QLCHT has several programmes in place to help low-moderate income households including public housing, assisted rental, rent-to-buy, and assisted ownership. It has assisted 177 households to date with another 55 expected over the next 12 months. It has 630 households on its waiting list currently, of which about 120 are Wānaka-based.

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