Extensions for state houses
A programme to make state houses the right fit for families is under way.
Housing New Zealand’s Project 324&5 will see 2000 three-bedroom houses converted into four and five bedroom homes over the next two years.
The project is expected to cost up to $260 million.
Changing family demographics mean there is an over supply of three-bedroom state houses around the country and a shortage of four and five-bedroom homes.
Twenty houses around Auckland are being converted as part of a pilot programme before the main work can get under way next month.
Last week housing minister Nick Smith visited a pilot house in Mt Roskill that is being extended from three bedrooms to six.
The conversion to six bedrooms is exceptional.
The home will go to a family of 11 who were previously living in a three-bedroom home with a child suffering from rheumatic fever – a condition which spreads easily in overcrowded living environments.
‘‘Adding an extra one or two bedrooms to these properties will better meet tenants’ needs in relation to size, location and amenity, but it will also result in less overcrowding and better health and education outcomes,’’ Mr Smith says.
The extended homes are also being modernised and upgraded including work to insulation and fencing.
Living spaces and kitchens are also being expanded.
‘‘It’s not just about clamping on another bedroom. It’s very important that we give them a safe, healthy, living space,’’ Maungakiekie MP Sam Lotu-Iiga says.
The houses to be converted are all 40 years old or over.
Newer homes would be more expensive to re-configure and generally aren’t on big enough sections.
A second initiative will see 500 two-bedroom houses built on large Housing New Zealand properties around Auckland in the next two years at a cost of $117 million.
Spreading out: Housing New Zealand capital projects and asset development group programme manager Rick Kerse, Maungakiekie MP Sam Lotu-Iiga, and Minister of Housing Nick Smith get a look at a state house in Mt Roskill being extended as part of Project 324&5.