By 3 News online staff
Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith today announced $16.4 million of grants which will support six community housing providers to complete a series of developments throughout the country.
These initiatives are designed as the first steps to grow the community housing sector.
The announcement came as he and Supercity Mayor Len Brown opened VisionWest's Community Housing Development at Forest Hill Rd in West Auckland this morning, where Unitec architecture students and top architecture firm, Strachan Group helped to design, document and build social housing.
Students worked in teams and saw their designs through to the building stage under the supervision of celebrity builder, John 'Cocksy' Cocks.
It is hoped that the creative concepts of the Unitec housing model would enable delivery of housing stock at a much quicker and affordable rate than standard construction techniques.
"The grants complement the legislation announced in the Budget that enables community social housing providers to receive the same funding as Housing New Zealand to provide tenants with acute housing needs access to income related rents," said Dr Smith.
One hundred new social affordable housing units will be supplied, along with 239 new bedrooms.
The developments will be in Auckland, Northland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, and Canterbury.