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Nelson City Council to explore fresh options for central city sites

Development of Nelson City Council-owned sites on Achilles Avenue and Rutherford Street will take a different direction following a decision by Kāinga Ora not to proceed with a proposed housing development.

Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities says its investigations have shown it is not financially feasible for a mix of only social and affordable housing on the sites.

Nelson Mayor Nick Smith says Nelson has significant housing pressures.

“We welcome the investments by Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities in major developments in Examiner St, Nile St, Waimea Rd and Neale Ave. However, the central city proposal for a mix of social and affordable housing on Achilles Ave and Rutherford St has proven not to be financially viable.”

Council will continue to work with Kāinga Ora on other potential opportunities for additional housing supply.

“I welcome the clarity on the Council-owned Achilles Ave-Rutherford St sites as the uncertainty is not good for the city. Today’s announcement enables us to get on and find alternative uses for these strategic sites,” Mayor Nick says.

“The timing is helpful in that we are planning a summit on the future of the city next month. This decision not to proceed reinforces the big job we have to attract new investment into the central city.

“This announcement that the Achilles Ave-Rutherford St Kāinga Ora housing development is not proceeding does not affect Nelson’s Bridge to Better project. Council will be continuing with the Bridge to Better $78 million redevelopment in this key part of the city, with major upgrades of infrastructure and streetscape.

“This investment remains vital to Council’s broader objective of revitalising our city, providing the infrastructure for central city housing development and improving the resilience of this area.”

Councillor Rachel Sanson, Chair of Council’s Community Housing Acceleration Taskforce, acknowledges the financial challenges of delivering social and affordable housing on these sites, but emphasises the need for affordable and resilient housing in Nelson.

“We continue to work closely with Kāinga Ora, other community housing providers, and development partners. The need for affordable housing in our community is significant. The opportunity to increase housing, and for this to contribute to revitalisation and vibrancy in our city centre is immense, and I’m optimistic about this.”

 

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