PHOTO: The proposed development on Auckland’s Hinaki St. Photo credit: Supplied via RNZ

A KiwiSaver provider is branching out into build-to-rent (BTR) properties in a bid to bring more affordable housing options to market.

Simplicity has teamed up with the construction company NZ Living, to form Simplicity Living, which will begin construction on 159 homes on two sites in Pt England and Onehunga next week.

The not-for-profit KiwiSaver provider had stumped up $100 million for the project and expected it to be completed within 18 months.

Simplicity chief executive Sam Stubbs said long-term renting was a common option in Europe and North America, which was often funded by pension funds.

BTR properties are purpose-built housing designed for long-term tenants, rather than for sale, and are owned by large institutional investors.

“It provides another housing option for New Zealanders, so previously those people who have wanted to rent have typically got stuck into short-term rental agreements,” Stubbs said.