Business Central December 2023

24 | Hawke’s Bay: Hastings District Council - Flaxmere T T Kim Newth Affordable housing initiative underway In May, Downer’s civil works team completed groundworks at 244 Flaxmere Avenue, where 46 affordable, quality houses are planned. REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT Downer is excited to showcase another great example of our purpose “Enabling Communities to Thrive” being completed. A successfully delivered subdivision, showcasing our expertise in water and roading infrastructure construction in the Hawkes Bay. Downer would like to thank the Hastings District Council, our subcontractor partners, Te Aranga Marae, and most of all the fantastic Flaxmere community for helping us make the 244 Flaxmere Avenue subdivision project such a success. Hastings District Council and central government, together with iwi, social service providers and the community, have been working hard in recent years to address a chronic local housing shortage. Construction of new affordable homes on council land in Flaxmere is now imminent, with the first phase of home building due to start at 244 Flaxmere Ave in March 2024. The Hastings Place Based Housing Plan pilot was launched in 2019, aimed at finding solutions for local families living in emergency accommodation. In the following year, the Hastings District Council partnered with a number of key stakeholders to create a long term housing strategy encompassing affordable housing, social housing, market housing, Māori housing, senior housing, and RSE accommodation, alongside skills training and employment creation. With funding support from the Crown Infrastructure Partners, the Council has progressed its plans for up to 150 homes on three lots of council-owned land in Flaxmere for affordable housing development. These add to an already completed Tarbet St development providing 17 new homes and 18 social/transitional homes. In May, Downer’s civil works team completed groundworks at 244 Flaxmere Avenue, where 46 affordable, quality houses are planned. The council is working with development partners to deliver the homes. “We expect that the first slabs will be going in by March 2024,” says Sophie Elliott, Hastings District Council’s Strategic Programme Manager. Once the Flaxmere Ave houses are built, the construction focus will move to the town centre (30 Swansea Rd), where two commercial and two residential super lots [a large land parcel able to be further subdivided by development partners] are ready for development. Groundworks were completed in August 2023. Around 24 affordable homes are expected to be built on one of the residential lots, with the other earmarked for senior housing to meet community needs. A new supermarket is also planned. Physical works are ahead of schedule at the council’s third affordable housing site – 72 Caernarvon Drive, also known as the Gumtree block - where Downer’s team is nearing completion of civil works. At least 77 new affordable homes are expected to be built at this site - next to the Flaxmere College sports fields - by the council’s development partners. “We have a wait list of 600 people wanting these homes, so we hope to get them all built and sold as quickly as we can over the next few years. Our goal is to provide housing