New housing planned in Marfell make-over
Housing New Zealand has announced plans to redevelop state rental housing in the New Plymouth suburb of Marfell to achieve a more balanced community through a mix of state rental houses, privately owned homes and other community or social housing.
"We want to improve Marfell by providing a range of houses, including better quality state housing, social housing and properties for affordable home ownership," says Sean Bignell General Manager Asset Development.
The first stage of the redevelopment will focus on vacant sites bordered by Discovery Place and Banks Street where state rental housing was removed in 2008, and another 31 state houses in the area directly surrounding it. Twenty of the 31 state rental houses are currently tenanted.
"We will shortly begin a formal process to find a suitable developer to help it with this project. We hope to appoint a developer in three to six months, after which time detailed planning will begin. The process will be open to community housing providers, iwi and private developers."
The exact number of units to be built on the site, or the timing of the project, will be determined after the appointment of a partner.
"This is a great opportunity to make Marfell a safer and more vibrant place to live, and we look forward to working with a development partner to bring the project to life," Mr Bignell says.
Once the first stage of the redevelopment is in place, Housing New Zealand will look at possibly redeveloping state rental housing in the wider Marfell area.
Housing New Zealand met with affected tenants this week, and informed the wider community about the improvement plans. Tenants of the 20 properties included in the first stage of the redevelopment can remain living in their tenancies for the time being, and when the time comes for them to move they will be relocated to another state rental property.
"The project is still in the very early stages and it will be many months before we know what the first stage of the redevelopment will look like. However we are committed to keeping the community informed, and will provide regular updates," Mr Bignell says.