Tue, Aug 2, 2022 3:14 PM

Council sells property for housing intensification


Staff Reporter

Six families will have new homes in the Toi Toi community following the sale of two properties by Nelson City Council to a community housing provider.

The site at numbers six and eight Totara St were purchased by council in the 1990s for the potential relocation of Victory Kindergarten in the event of the Southern Link progressing. However, after endorsement of the Nelson Future Access business case last year, the properties were no longer needed.

Parties that were interested in developing the sites were invited to submit proposals for redevelopment that demonstrate exemplars of housing intensification, provide sustainable, energy efficient and healthy homes and include mechanisms to ensure the housing is retained for the purpose it was sold for the building’s lifetime (50 years).

A proposal was received from Nelson Tasman Housing Trust (NTHT) to increase the supply of housing in the sought-after urban area, which is close to shops, schools, parks, active transport links and services.

NTHT’s Totara St development will convert the land area taken up by two single houses unsuitable for redevelopment, into the site of six new houses – a variety of two-, three-, and four-bedroom homes.

NTHT currently has 50 rental homes for people on low incomes in Nelson and Tasman, and plans to develop another 50 rental homes in the next five years.

The organisation plans to secure an agreement with the Ministry for Housing and Urban Development (MHUD) to complete this development. Council accepted the proposal put forward by NTHT and has sold the properties at the land valuation of $715,000.

Chair of the urban development subcommittee deputy mayor, Judene Edgar, says the sale of the properties responds to a pressing need for affordable housing in Nelson, and furthers the goals and actions of Council’s Intensification Action Plan.

“Housing affordability and intensification are priorities of Council, and we’ve always known that strong partnerships are the key to addressing the housing crisis. This sale shows that by working with community housing providers, Council can make the most of its assets to deliver more housing for our community.

“We are one of the least affordable regions in the country for housing with wages less than the national average, so being able to provide secure housing close to schools, shops and services is important. We know that families are living in emergency housing, older people are sleeping in cars and that the public housing waiting list is growing, so there is a critical need for more affordable housing.”

Founding trustee and NTHT director Carrie Mozena says the development location is perfect for families.

“It’s right next to Victory Community Centre and it’s close to schools, parks and transport routes. It’s just a fantastic location for families to live.”

She says the houses will be long-term rentals designed to give housing security, meaning families will not have to worry about moving schools or increased transport issues due to an unplanned move.

“Having housing security really does underpin wellbeing for our communities," says Carrie. "It allows families to flourish and to establish connections to an area, without constantly worrying about their next move or how they are going to afford rental payments. Rentals are set at income-related rates, equating to 25 per cent of a families’ total income.”

The current Totara Street tenants have been kept informed throughout the process, which began in November 2021. Council has also made offers of assistance to source alternative accommodation if possible.

NTHT will now work through the consenting process, with building of the properties expected to start in 2023.

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