Homes open in St Albans

Our 11th community of new homes is ready to welcome its first tenants.

Housing Minister Megan Woods and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, supported by new tenant Andrew, officially opened Coles Place, St Albans, today.

They opened 33 homes designed to achieve the New Zealand Green Building Council’s Homestar 7 rating. They’re warm, dry and efficient to run.

Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust’s latest community comprises 1 x 4-bed, 1 x 3-bed, 3 x 2-bed, 28 x 1-bedroom homes. It’s set in landscaped grounds on a site that’s had social housing for nearly 70 years.

The modern homes replace 20 weatherboard-clad social housing units built in the early 1950s. They survived the earthquakes but were old, cold and well-past their use-by date.

The Christchurch City Council transferred the property to ŌCHT in 2019 as part of the Christchurch Housing Accord. Construction on the new community started in May 2021.

Work started as COVID-19 affected supply chains and pandemic restrictions hindered the building programme. Even so, Coles Place was delivered a month early and under budget.

The project team delivered homes made from modern materials, and with passive solar design and high-spec insulation that will make them environmentally sound and cheaper to run.

They have private courtyards and share communal spaces featuring communal vegetable gardens, fruit trees and grassed gathering spaces. There’s space for people to meet and children to play.

Five of the homes have two or more bedrooms, reflecting growth in the need for family homes.

More than 1800 people and families on the Ministry of Social Development’s Public Housing Register at the end of last year were waiting for a community home in Christchurch.

More than 680 needed homes with more than one bedroom.

ŌCHT’s new tenants are supported into homes from the Public Housing Register.

ŌCHT chief executive Cate Kearney says Coles Place is a modern, future-proofed response to the ongoing need to help people in need into a home.

“Community housing is needed more now than ever, especially as we see the impact of the housing shortage, high rentals and the effects of COVID-19 on the number of people in need of a home.

“More and more people need a home, and they want the chance to sustain their tenancies, to have the security that comes with having a home and being part of a community.

“ŌCHT is committed to helping people achieve sustainable tenancies, and to providing warm, dry, safe and modern homes.

“Coles Place has been part of Christchurch’s community housing story for nearly 70 years, and the new community will continue making a positive contribution to our city for decades to come.”

The new homes further demonstrate the Trust’s design and construction capability, and the standards achieved by its project partners.

They are also another tangible demonstration of what can be achieved when the Trust, the council and the government work together.

“ŌCHT is proud to be part of a community housing sector that’s working with the government to provide more, better homes for those most in need of housing,” Ms Kearney says.

This is the 11th community of new homes ŌCHT has delivered since its inception. ŌCHT’s delivered 229 new homes since 2019; 213 of them since 2020. More are planned.

Since 2019, ŌCHT’s opened new community housing homes in these communities: Louisson Place, Opawa; Lesley Keast Place, Hornby; Charles Street, Waltham; Hastings Street East, Sydenham; Tīwaiwaka Lane, St Martins; Reg Stillwell Place, New Brighton; Hoiho Lane, Korimako Lane, Karoro Lane), Sydenham, and Gowerton Place, Richmond.

Published Friday, April 8


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The Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust
61 Kilmore St,

Hours: 8.30 am-5.00 pm, Monday-Friday.

Postal: PO Box 53, Christchurch 8140

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