Queenstown transient workers need help with accommodation: housing trust

Hundreds of new homes are being built in Shotover Country and other subdivisions in Queenstown in an effort to alleviate ...
JOHN EDENS/FAIRFAX NZ

Hundreds of new homes are being built in Shotover Country and other subdivisions in Queenstown in an effort to alleviate housing pressure.

A community housing trust in Queenstown is expanding its reach to investigate the provision of more affordable rental properties for transient workers in the resort.

Queenstown has been hit by a housing crisis this year.

Land, house prices and rents have all gone up. Starter homes are few and far between, rental stock is drying up amid a tourism and construction boom and the resident population is growing rapidly.

Old holiday cabins in central Queenstown are among the cheaper options for tenants struggling to find accommodation. ...
John Edens

Old holiday cabins in central Queenstown are among the cheaper options for tenants struggling to find accommodation. Boarding houses are another budget option but crammed with up to 20 tenants.

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The first stage of a Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust development in Arrowtown, launched last year, has been ...
John Edens

The first stage of a Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust development in Arrowtown, launched last year, has been completed.

Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust and Queenstown Lakes District Council have signed a memorandum of understanding to govern the future provision of housing for residents and tenants.

Average house prices have climbed to $690,000.

Trust chairman David Cole, at a monthly council meeting, said the trust was in a healthy state with $10 million in net assets. Almost 100 households had been helped into home ownership, he said.

"We need to lift our performance because everybody around this table knows the challenge with affordable housing."

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The trust's projects include a small, staged development in Suffolk St, Arrowtown, and 44 sections at Shotover Country subdivision, where building could start by the end of the year.

Cole said transient workers were often crowded into houses owned by landlords outside the district or holiday homes that meant a lease was less than 12 months.

Providing more rental accommodation would provide security of tenure, quality accommodation and regulate rent prices, he said.

"We want to build more rental houses.

"We see the huge benefit of building for this community a significant portfolio of rentals that become a long term asset.

"There's a real need for supporting the transient workers in the town."

Trust executive officer Julie Scott, speaking after the meeting, said the new memorandum recognised the evolving relationship with the council and the district's housing needs.

"We're responding to the demand within the community.

'"As it evolves we are trying to evolve with it."

The trust, and the council, draws a distinction between affordable and community housing.

The former refers to mitigating affordability by, for example, increasing the density of housing permitted in residential zones while the latter refers to shared ownership housing, where the nonprofit trust recycles capital to build more houses for eligible home owners.

 - Stuff

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