Affordable new homes concept
A venture spearheaded by a community group in Kaitangata is aiming to entice young working couples to the town by offering an affordable housing package.
Kaitangata Promotions chairman Evan Dick and chairwoman Joyce Beck approached Clutha Development with a proposal to streamline the house buying process.
Four groups, the Balclutha branch of Bank of New Zealand, Downie Stewart Lawyers, Hoamz Ltd and Big River Homes, were encouraged to produce an affordable house and land package starting from $230,000.
This included a newly-built three-bedroom house and a section in Kaitangata.
The starting price did not include connection or permit fees or section development.
However, Mr Dick said it was an affordable price for a working couple.
Most people paid more in rent on a property they did not own than they would on a mortgage, he said.
Mr Dick believed Kaitangata had a lot to offer for working and young couples and wanted to show the potential of the town.
"It's a hidden gem and South Otago is a hidden gem but people haven't realised that yet,'' he said.
He said the town had the idyllic rural lifestyle and a hard-working community with a can-do attitude.
"If you want to have lattes and go to the cinemas every week, it's not for you.''
Mr Dick said working with Clutha Development helped make Kaitangata Promotion's goals for a housing package a reality.
Clutha Development executive officer Linda Moore liaised with the lawyer, bank, real estate company and house development company to produce the package.
She said it would not have been possible without Mr Dick and Mrs Beck.
"Evan and Joyce have all done the ground work and led the project.''
Big River Homes managing director Mark Van Asperen said he saw the opportunity to be involved with a strong community.
He believed the homes were the best value for money in the South Island.
"Where else in New Zealand can you buy a brand-new home on a section for that sort of money?''
Mr Van Asperen admitted he was a "Balclutha boy'' but realised Kaitangata had potential.
Mr Dick said it was a stepping stone for young couples struggling to buy their first house.
"This could be a way forward and to be part of our community.''
Other towns could follow the template the group had produced.
The package was in its final stages of development and the group expected it to be unveiled this week.