When is the sod turning for North West Light Rail?
On Friday I had the privilege of joining Mayor Phil Goff, Transport, Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford, and Waitakere Councillor Linda Cooper in hearing the announcement of an Infrastructure loan that would allow housing development out in the Westgate area.
From Auckland Council:
Major infrastructure funding for Auckland’s northwest
$339.2 million loans to support major infrastructure projects
Minister of Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff today confirmed $339.2 million of 10-year interest-free loans to Auckland Council to support major infrastructure projects in Redhills and Whenuapai in Auckland’s northwest.
The loans from the $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) will enable the building of around 7000 houses to help tackle the housing crisis.
The infrastructure that will be built with this funding will support new housing and includes wastewater mains and pump stations, stormwater management and arterial roading, including bus and cycle lanes.
The proposed developments at Redhills and Whenuapai are part of a wider programme of development in Auckland’s northwest.
“The developments will be close to the planned western light rail line to connect local communities to the rest of Auckland. Growth at Redhills and Whenuapai will support, and be supported by, the growing Westgate commercial centre which will provide local services and employment opportunities,” said Phil Twyford.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said, “Accelerating housing delivery in Auckland is a priority. The Government’s interest-free loan allows us to build infrastructure and bring forward the delivery of around 7,000 new homes for Auckland families and residents.
“The $339 million from the Housing Infrastructure Fund will deliver new roads, bus lanes, cycle lanes and wastewater infrastructure. It will help create a new community in an affordable and fast growing area of Auckland,” Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said.
Phil Twyford said work on finalising the loan from the HIF was a great example of how central and local government can work together to address Auckland’s housing crisis.
“The northwest investment promotes one of the more affordable areas in Auckland. QV estimates values in the West at an average $824,000, compared to $1,050,000 across all of Auckland. With rents up 4.4 per cent over the last year in West Auckland, improved property supply via the Housing Infrastructure Fund is very much needed,” Phil Twyford said.
Phil Goff said, “We are working hard with government to increase the pace and scale of house building including more affordable homes.
“New developments such as those in Redhills and Whenuapai are critical to absorb Auckland’s rapid population growth which is increasing by up to 40,000 each year,” said Phil Goff.
The $1 billion HIF will enable at least 28,000 new dwellings in high growth areas across the country to be built over the next ten years.
There is a bus stop five minutes walk from where we are standing that goes to Westgate and onto the City Centre if anyone is asking about transit. I did ask about North West Light Rail and also a bus lane on the Westgate onramp to State Highway 16 to the Minister. The response? Watch this space (sod turning is going to be sooner rather than later)!