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State housing deliberate for Flagstaff – Stuff.co.nz

A large development of state housing two and three storeys high may soon be built in a leafy north Hamilton suburb, and a local MP is not happy about it.

Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities​ (formerly Housing NZ) wants to build seventy housing units on two hectares off Endeavour Avenue​ next to the Flagstaff shops.

Forty-one two-storey homes with three or four bedrooms, and 29 three storey apartments with two-bedrooms are planned.

The 70 units will be a mix of state housing and privately owned affordable housing.

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The three storey apartments proposed for development in Flagstaff

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The three storey apartments proposed for development in Flagstaff

National MP for Hamilton East, David Bennett​ said the high density housing would “completely change” the character of the suburb.

“It’s going to bring in a completely different set of people to a family based area.”

The two bedroom units would bring “temporary tenants” who move around a lot, Bennett said.

“There would not be families in those apartments, they would be people on very short-term accommodation.

“The three storey walk-ups are going to stick out a mile in the area, all the other houses around there are single-storey.”

A visual design of the proposed Kāinga Ora development in Hamilton's Flagstaff suburb. The development is planned to be a mix of state and privately owned housing.

SUPPLIED

A visual design of the proposed Kāinga Ora development in Hamilton’s Flagstaff suburb. The development is planned to be a mix of state and privately owned housing.

The park beside it is not very well-lit, the well-established shops have been hit by criminal activity in the past, and there are a number of retirement villages and rest homes in the area, Bennett said.

Bennett said he wanted the land converted into a recreational reserve, or secondly, that only single-storey family houses be built there.

Kāinga Ora were notifying some members of the community – such as shop owners – on Wednesday afternoon, Bennett said.

Hamilton East MP David Bennett said the state housing development would be inappropriate for Flagstaff.

Christel Yardley/Stuff

Hamilton East MP David Bennett said the state housing development would be inappropriate for Flagstaff.

He expected “total outrage” from the community at the size and nature of what’s going to be built. 

“They should not go ahead in any form like that, the residents will not be happy with it.

“They have stated it’s a proposal but it seems to me this is going ahead.”

A Kāinga Ora information sheet Stuff saw on Wednesday afternoon, said Hamilton and Waikato was fast growing and there was a pressing need for more “quality public and market housing in the city”.

“The public homes would be matched to individuals and families on the Ministry of Social Development’s Housing Register, giving priority to those in greatest need of a home, and considering location due to work, family, education and other factors.”

“The new low maintenance homes would be fully insulated, with double glazing, carpets and curtains, and be built to a higher spec than required under NZ building standards.

Flagstaff may soon have state house units in a patch of land off Endeavour Ave.

Christel Yardley/Stuff

Flagstaff may soon have state house units in a patch of land off Endeavour Ave.

The information sheet said Kāinga Ora was in a “concept design stage”, sharing the proposal with the community. 

Kāinga Ora Programme Director Martin Chandler​ said the development was only a proposal at this stage.

It would require resource and building consent to be granted ahead of any construction, which could take place 2021-2022.

“We are in the early stages of exploring options to partner with a range of stakeholders, including Waikato-Tainui, on aspects of this proposed development,” Chandler said. 

Hamilton deputy mayor Geoff Taylor​ was surprised and concerned by the plan.

Residents often felt caught out by large infill housing developments happening next door to them, he said. 

“People who have put savings into a property in Flagstaff are probably upset and worried.”

You’d struggle to find a more “unsympathetic development” in the city, Taylor said.

“It’s right next to a park, right next to Flagstaff Shopping Centre.

“It looks very pretty in the picture, but will it look like that in ten years’ time?

“Obviously we do want more affordable housing in the central city, but I’m concerned about this.”

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