UNDER THE MOUNTAIN: Work has begun at Kawerau’s newest development, the Porritt Glade lifestyle village. Photo Charlotte Jones D8897-01

ONCE stagnant, Kawerau is now experiencing a boom of positive growth.

In partnership with Generation Homes, Kawerau District Council is developing three subdivisions, including a lifestyle village, to address the housing shortage for Kawerau’s growing population.

Kawerau council has contracted Generation Homes to build 29 two-bedroom homes at its Porritt Glade lifestyle village subdivision and has provided land for Generation Homes to build 31 homes at Bowen Street and another four at Bell Street.

Mayor Malcolm Campbell said the Porritt Glade subdivision was for people aged 60-plus and designed to have them move on from their current properties, which could then be available for rentals or other home buyers.

“We’ve had almost no growth over the last 25 to 30 years, but now all of a sudden we have a growing population and house prices are going up,” said Mr Campbell.

“Thing are starting to move in the right direction, instead of backward in the wrong direction. We’ve gained a considerable amount of people recently and are now over the 7000 mark in population size.”

Mr Campbell said the council was also looking at another reserve in Kawerau as a potential subdivision.

“Currently it is a disused soccer field, but we need to go through the legal process with that and there are some residents with concerns that need to be met,” said Mr Campbell.

The two-bedroom lifestyle village homes are priced at $310,000 each with an annual fee of $6400 which covers rates, insurance, gardening and mowing, exterior maintenance and statutory supervisor administration.

New owners will have an Occupation Right Agreement (ORA).

“While people may think $310,000 is a lot to spend on a two-bedroom home, I know a two-bedroom house which has been on the market for two years in Kawerau just sold for $525,000 last week,” said Mr Campbell.

In the Bowen Street subdivision, house and land packages are priced from $399,000 and in the Bell Street subdivision from $479,000.

When Generation Homes sells a property, the council will receive the value of the land back.

Council manager finance and corporate services Peter Christophers said he anticipated construction of six homes at Porritt Glade will begin in a month.

“We have done all the necessary land development and have most of the infrastructure in, such as electricity, sewer pipes, storm water and things like that,” he said.

At least 60 people have expressed interest in the lifestyle village, far more than the 29 homes that will be available.

Mr Christophers said although the council had received a lot of interest, it was possible that many of these people wouldn’t have the money to purchase the homes straight away.

The first six homes have already been ear-tagged by buyers.

Council staff are now working to register the lifestyle village with the Companies Office to ensure units are ready to sell once completed.