We’ve got some great news for tenants, the environment and our city.
People living at Christchurch’s newest community housing development will use e-bikes and electric cars in a trial that could have implications for community housing across the city.
Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust (ŌCHT) plans to deliver a subsidised electric vehicle share scheme at the new, 90-home Brougham Street development in Sydenham.
ŌCHT will supply two Nissan Leaf cars and five electric bikes in a two-year pilot to see how shared, low carbon transport can work for a social housing community.
ŌCHT commercial and development manager Ed Leeson said vehicles will be available to any ŌCHT tenant but are likely to be used mainly by the people in the new community.
The e-bikes can be used for free while the cars’ maintenance, management and replacement costs will be met with a nominal fee, Mr Leeson said.
Zilch will manage the vehicles and a booking portal will be used to make the most of them. An education campaign to encourage uptake will underpin the programme.
ŌCHT chief executive Cate Kearney said: “We know good, reliable and low-cost transport is vital to help low income people get to services spread across our city.
“We also know we must do what we can to find ways to sustainably reduce our carbon footprint while making community life better.
“The projects will help do this, and we hope they will help us as we improve community housing in our city.”
Mr Leeson said the car project’s booking platform will gather data to establish demand patterns, feedback and user engagement.
This will help ŌCHT consider how low carbon, shared transport might be applied elsewhere and even how it might affect new developments.
“We’d love to know we can reduce the number of car parks we provide, with alternatives that let us replace asphalt with green spaces,” Mr Leeson said.
If successful, the project will be rolled out to other ŌCHT properties and its benefits will be promoted to other community housing providers in New Zealand.
The infrastructure to support the car and e-bike chargers is being installed in the second and third stages of the three-stage development.
Its first community, Korimako Lane, was officially opened this month. The final two are expected to open mid-year. It is the biggest community housing development of its kind in the South Island.
The car project will receive co-funding from the Government’s Low Emissions Vehicles Contestable Fund, which is administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.
The fund is one of a range of initiatives in the Government’s Electric Vehicles Programme, which aims to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles in New Zealand.
The Brougham Street development has a New Zealand Green Building Council Homestar 7 rating. Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust recently achieved Toitū carbonzero certification.
- See what Energy Minister Megan Woods had to say about the plan when funding was confirmed.