Groundwork has begun on a $15 million affordable housing development near Queenstown.
Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust executive officer Julie Scott says the 44 lot project in the Shotover Country subdivision was the trust’s “biggest by far”.
The trust had more than 300 eligible households on its waiting list, all on low to moderate incomes and with limited deposits available.
“If we can drive the end price down we can assist more of these households. To do this we need to build smaller and smarter.”
It would build smaller homes of two to three bedrooms, with a targeted end value of between $450,000 and $500,000 each.
The $2 million roading and utilities stage was expected to be completed by Christmas, and the trust was negotiating with three building companies on the house construction phase, set to begin at the end of the year.
Most of the houses were expected to be completed by December next year.
The trust’s previous biggest development, a 27 lot project in nearby Lake Hayes Estate, was completed in 2013. A 10 home project in Suffolk St, Arrowtown, will be completed by the end of the year.
Scott says the Shotover Country land was given to the trust by developers Sharyn and Grant Stalker as part of a community housing contribution negotiated during the plan change process.
The groundwork was funded by a Community Trust of Southland loan and the building stage would be funded by a commercial bank loan.
Trust chairman David Cole says the Stalkers had recognised “the gain that results from a change in zoning and being willing to give something back to the community”.
The project was a “mixed tenure” development, with some properties going into the trust’s shared ownership programme and others into one of its rental schemes.