Housing infrastructure loans announced

Wednesday 11 July 2018

Tauranga and the Waikato will be the beneficiaries of some hefty Government housing infrastructure loans, it was announced today.

By Miriam Bell

Tauranga City Council will get $158 million of 10-year interest-free loans for major drinking and waste water infrastructure projects.

This includes capacity upgrades to the Te Maunga Wastewater Treatment Plant and a new Waiari water treatment plant.

The Waikato District Council will get $38 million of 10-year interest-free loans for water infrastructure projects around Te Kauwhata in the North Waikato.

This will include expanding water supply, reservoirs and reticulation, and a new waste water treatment plant, pipeline and treated water disposal.

The loans, which come from the Government’s $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) should assist the development of 35,000 houses in Tauranga and 2,790 in Te Kauwhata.

Both areas are struggling with a shortage of housing stock.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford says there has been a big focus on the housing crisis in Auckland, but there also shortage issues that need to be addressed in other areas.

Tauranga is a high growth area with a population that is expected to continue to grow and demand for housing already high, he says

“Tauranga City Council is keen to accelerate housing developments, and funding towards infrastructure helps to support such developments.”

In a similar vein, Te Kauwhata is expected to be a major growth area in North Waikato.

Tywford says there are signs that Auckland’s housing issues are moving south, with QV data showing average house prices in the Waikato District increased by 8.8% to $483,179 over the past year.

Over the same period of time, Huntley rental costs increased by 13.3%.

“Councils in high growth areas like Waikato are keen to speed up housing developments, and funding towards infrastructure will go a long way to ease pressures on these councils.”

Work on finalising the loans from the HIF was a great example of how central and local government can work together to address the country’s housing crisis, Twyford says.

“Further announcements on Tauranga infrastructure projects, including the greenfield development at Te Tumu on the eastern end of Papamoa, are expected in coming months.”

The previous National-led government established the HIF in 2016 to help speed up housing developing by financing essential infrastructure.

Last year Auckland Council, Hamilton City Council, Waikato District Council, Tauranga City Council, and Queenstown Lakes District Council received HIF loans.

Read more:

Handing out the infrastructure fund 

Speeding up housing development 

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