Three Kings HNZ apartments opened

LAURA WALTERS
Last updated 14:08 26/03/2014

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Aucklanders will have to adjust to a new style of living as Housing New Zealand rolls out its apartment-style redevelopments to accommodate in-need Kiwis on the outskirts of the city's CBD.

A government-funded redevelopment for elderly and disabled tenants was opened in the Auckland suburb of Three Kings by Housing Minister Nick Smith this afternoon.

The redevelopment of the 22 new two-bedroom apartments cost about $7 million.

However, exact cost was commercially sensitive as there was an ongoing competitive tender for the contracts for a further dozen redevelopments in Auckland, Smith said.

The redevelopment was part of a $2.9 billion three-year Housing New Zealand investment to deliver good quality state houses of the right size and in the right place for people with high housing needs, he said.

"This new development is very much the future face of Auckland."

Smith said there was a seven-fold increase in the intensity of the housing on the Three Kings site.

Meaning more people could be housed in the new apartments than in the houses that previously stood on the site.

"Many people get this depiction that Auckland's redevelopment is about 10-15 storey apartment buildings."

However, the reality was the planned redevelopments in the suburbs on the outskirts of Auckland's CBD would be similar to the three-storey redevelopment in Three Kings, he said.

"There's a lot of community angst when they see the bulldozers move in and roll over the 50 or 60-year-old houses."

Smith said there would need to be some adjustment with people getting used to the new style of housing.

"But when people see it they'll realise it will provide a better quality of housing and lifestyle."

The redevelopments would also aim to better match available housing and people's needs, he said.

"We have three-bedroom houses coming out our ears."

However, Auckland had a greater diversity of families and there was a growing demand for one or two-bedroom houses.

Smith said this style of housing was necessary if Auckland was going to accommodate a projected 2 million residents by 2040.

Smith said the new houses were better quality, warmer, drier and closer to core amenities.

The Three Kings redevelopment would provide those in the "greatest need" with warm, dry and safe homes that were close to key facilities such as a supermarket, a library and public transport, he said.

"This modern, fit-for-purpose complex is a far cry from the four old, standalone houses that previously sat on this under-utilised site."

The new apartments would contribute to meeting the demand for smaller, more compact housing in Auckland's city fringe suburbs.

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Smith said he had been "heartened" to meet some of the tenants who would reap the benefits of the new homes.

- National

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