HOME SWEET HOME: This Housing New Zealand home on Salonika Street is one of 15 in Whakatane which have been tenanted this year. Photo Charlotte Jones D9159-01

HALF of Housing New Zealand’s new Whakatane homes have been tenanted.

The social housing provider bulldozed 13 old homes in Whakatane that no longer suited the needs of people needing housing earlier this year, and has since been in the process of replacing them with 32 new homes.

Kainga Ora Whakatane area manager Raylene McKenzie-Mason said 15 of the new homes had been tenanted and more homes which had been completed were expected to be tenanted in around two weeks.

“The build and completion process is well under way,” said Ms McKenzie-Mason.

“A range of one, two and three-bedroom homes on Soutars Avenue, Salonika Street and Crete Street have been completed and are tenanted.

“Further homes on Salonika and Lovelock streets will be completed and tenanted by early December.

There are also four more properties on Russell Street currently scheduled for completion and available for tenanting prior to Christmas.”

Deputy chief executive of public housing supply at the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Scott Gallacher said in Whakatane the most common number of bedrooms needed by applicants on the housing register was one.

“Of the 81 applicants on the register, 34 need a one-bedroom unit,” he said.

“The same is true nationally. As at the end of December 2018, 44 percent of people on the housing register needed a one-bedroom place.”

“Nationwide, the highest percentage of people on the housing register are single people over the age of 25, with the highest percentage between the ages of 25 and 39.

“This is also reflected in Whakatane, where the highest percentage of applicants on the housing register are single people over the age of 25.”

Housing New Zealand has managed to keep on track with building the 14 one-bedroom, 16 two-bedroom and two three-bedroom homes in Whakatane despite the liquidation of building company Stanley Group and related company Tallwood.

Stuff reported at the time that Stanley Group got into financial trouble after it underquoted for work with HNZ.