Council application to Government fund successful
Rotorua Lakes Council’s application to the Government’s Infrastructure Acceleration Fund for stormwater projects to enable housing has been successful.
The level of funding to be allocated to Rotorua is to be confirmed as part of final negotiations with the council’s proposal one of 35 progressing to the final stage of the IAF process.
Administered by Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, the contestable Infrastructure Acceleration Fund (IAF) is a key component of the Government’s $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund announced in March 2021, aimed at enabling infrastructure to support new housing supply.
Rotorua Lakes Council’s initial applications were for stormwater investment in the Eastern, Western and Central areas of Rotorua city, totalling $113m. Applications for the Western and Central areas progressed to the next stage of the application process and at the request of the funder were combined into one.
Council applied for $99m for these proposed works which include upgrades to stormwater pipe networks, detention dams to manage stormwater during weather events to reduce flood risks in residential areas and upgrading of pump stations.
Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick said IAF funding would provide an important boost for planned stormwater investment to help address the district’s critical housing shortage.
“It would enable us to bring projects forward and accelerate housing developments – we need more homes of all types as quickly as possible and infrastructure investment is key to enabling that to happen and to support community resilience.
“Council can’t do it alone – we need to keep working in partnership with others to achieve the housing outcomes our district needs.”
Councillor housing lead Councillor Tania Tapsell said stormwater investment was vital to enabling housing for Rotorua.
“There is significant work underway both within council and with other partners, to increase housing supply and provide more options for our community and we welcome this additional support from the Government.”
Council’s application progressing to the final stage of the IAF process was confirmed at today’s [Thursday, 5 May 2022] Operations & Monitoring Committee meeting following an announcement by Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities earlier this week.
Council’s Deputy Chief Executive District Development, Jean-Paul Gaston, who is leading work programmes addressing the district’s housing shortage, said there were initially 200 expressions of interest totalling $5billion for the $1billion fund with 86 progressing to the second stage and submitting a request for proposal with eventually 35 proposals approved for funding.
He said the applications had involved a huge amount of work by Council’s planning and infrastructure teams and the request to merge the Central and Western applications into one reflected the interconnections between the two.
“It’s very pleasing to have made it through the application process. The improvements mapped out in the applications are needed to ensure we can cope with housing intensification across the city and to improve climate resilience in relation to stormwater.”
Mr Gaston said the negotiations to finalise the allocation for Rotorua Lakes Council from the Infrastructure Acceleration Fund would include Kāinga Ora being satisfied with the level of local funding for infrastructure to support housing and details around milestones.
The works proposed in Council’s IAF application are linked to a broad programme of work identified in the district’s Homes and Thriving Communities Strategy Framework – He Papakāinga, He Hāpori Taurikura, aimed at addressing housing and community wellbeing in the district and developed in partnership with Te Arawa and Central Government Agencies, with community input.
IAF application – what’s proposed
Western – to enable an estimate of up to 1320 new dwellings
- Four major stormwater detention ponds with wetlands
- Upgrades to stormwater pipe network
Central – to enable an estimate of up to 1765 new dwellings
- Upgrades to Tilsley Street pump station to direct water towards the east, away from Utuhina Stream
- Stormwater pipe network upgrades
Other key information
- Council and partners identified through the Homes and Thriving Communities Strategic Framework that Rotorua has a housing shortage of approximately 1500 – 1750 homes to meet the needs of the existing community.
- It is now projected Rotorua will need 6000 new homes by 2030 with 4260 of these needed by 2026. A significant number will need to be public housing.
- In 2012, when the current operative District Plan was notified, Rotorua’s population was forecast to decline but since 2013 the population has increased by 8850 (12.9%).
- Median house sale prices have risent by $320,000 (120%) to $585,000 since 2013. In the same time period, median rents rose $210 per week (84%) to $460 per week.
- 66% of household growth during the next 10 years is expected to be in smaller household types such as single occupants or couples. There is currently a lack of smaller type housing typologies to suit these household make ups.
Recent and current stormwater infrastructure projects
Linton Park - $7.5 million to rebuild the stormwater detention dam at Linton Park to enable residential growth, mitigate existing stormwater issues and prepare for the effects of climate change. This work is currently underway.
Elected members were presented with a summary of Council’s funding applications to the IAF in September 2021