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Hamilton City Council will move forward with a transformational bid for a $150.6 million infrastructure funding grant to enable housing in the central city.

In its final decision of the triennium, Council delegated authority to Chief Executive Lance Vervoort to conclude negotiations with central government for its Infrastructure Acceleration Fund (IAF).

If successful, the grant will fund a new water reservoir and pump station, pedestrian and cycling bridge, and investigations into other strategic three waters and transport infrastructure. This will enable up to 4000 homes in the central city and surrounds between now and 2034.

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate said the infrastructure was desperately needed to support housing in Hamilton.

“We’re in the middle of a housing crisis, that is a fact. Everyone in our city, including our children and grandchildren, deserves to be well-housed.

“Government must come to the party and help pay for the infrastructure so we can get on with delivering that housing, as quickly as possible, without burdening our ratepayers.”

The bid supports Council’s aspirations to transform the central city into a place where people want to live, work and visit. It also aligns with proposed changes to the city’s District Plan to prioritise high-density housing in the central city and walkable areas around it, near jobs, transport and other community services.

The bid is supported by $129.3 million of co-funding from Council, already committed in its 2021-2031 Long-Term Plan. Alongside housing, it will also support more than 300,000m2 of commercial and retail space and has the potential to unlock more than $2.1 billion in private investment over the next decade.

“This is a game-changing grant that will transform our central city for future generations to live in, create numerous jobs and other economic benefits for the city.”

Council is working with key developers in the central city to get behind the bid and commit to delivering housing, soon. Council has also signalled that its long-standing aspirations to develop Council-owned land at Sonning carpark could help meet Government’s housing requirements.

Mayor Southgate reiterated this did not mean any decisions had been made about any site.

“We’re indicating to Government we have land that could help us reach the level of housing commitment they’re after. But that would depend on working with those communities, mana whenua and other affected parties through a number of issues.”

That included working with the recently created advocacy group – Guardians of Claudelands, she said.

Government is expected to make announcements about successful bids to the contestable fund in November.

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