“The apartments are part of Wellington City Council’s Te Kāinga programme to provide quality, secure, affordable and long-term rental accommodation in Wellington,” says Mayor Andy Foster.
“As a Council we are working on a spatial plan to increase the supply of affordable housing in Wellington. The Te Kāinga programme partnership with the private sector to deliver affordable rental accommodation is a first for New Zealand.
“To have our first tangible example of these efforts is extremely exciting to share with Wellingtonians. We currently have a further 300 apartments in the pipeline we are aiming to deliver in the next few years, and will make further announcements about this in the coming months,” says Mayor Foster.
Te Kāinga Aroha is located at 195 Willis Street and offers 52 one, two, and three-bedroom apartments. All apartments come with whiteware, free WiFi, bike storage and rubbish disposal. Rents start at $410 for one bed, $580 for two beds and $750 for three-bed apartments. Rents are assessed against the Wellington Housing Affordability Model that helps us understand what housing is affordable and for whom.
The Council has signed a 15-year lease with The Wellington Company (TWC) for the apartments. TWC is responsible for construction and asset management, while the Council will manage the tenancies. The initiative is cost-neutral to the Council, meaning there is no impact on ratepayers.
Applications for the apartments will be prioritised based on the following criteria:
- People who work in, or intend to work in, an essential public sector role.
- People on a low to medium income (under $85,000 for an individual and $130,000 for a group) who have difficulty accessing rental housing in Wellington, and are not eligible for income related rent.
- Do not own their own home.
Applicants don’t have to meet all the criteria for an apartment, but the more criteria they meet, the higher the priority their application will have. Anyone interested in renting an apartment is invited to register their interest at www.Wellington.govt.nz/tekainga
The Council’s Housing Portfolio Lead, Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons, says all Councillors recognise the importance of having a positive impact on the rental housing supply in Wellington and have been unanimous in their support for this project.
“As Councillors we have heard so many stories of people who cannot find a warm, dry home to live in. This is just the start of Council working with building owners to increase the number of quality rental homes in Wellington. The Council welcomes approaches from other building owners interested in working with Council to increase housing in Wellington.
“These homes are about making sure our teachers, nurses and other public sector workers can work and live in our city,” says Councillor Fitzsimons.