Te Ariki spent the past two weeks living in a motel. Today, he helped open his new home.
“This is lovely, it really is,” Te Ariki said, gesturing to the homes lining Karoro Lane.
“Thank you, thank you.”
Moments earlier, Te Ariki helped cut the ribbon at the official “soft” opening of one of the newest streets in Christchurch.
The 32-home community is the second stage of Ōtautahi Community Housing’s three-stage Brougham St project.
When finished it will add 90 homes to the city’s community housing stock.
Te Ariki said that was wonderful news made better by the standard of the new homes.
“I just can’t get over how well this has been done,” he said.
The 14 two-bedroom and 18 one-bedroom homes are built to New Zealand Green Building Council Homestar 7 standard.
They have resource efficient layouts and well insulated, high performing thermal envelopes. They will be comfortable and efficient to run.
The rest of the Brougham St development is built to the same standard.
Bernice moved from a cold brick building and into her new home on Karoro Lane a couple of days ago.
She helped Te Ariki, ŌCHT chairman Alex Skinner and chief executive Cate Kearney cut the green ribbon.
“It’s amazing, I love it, I absolutely love it,” Bernice said through a broad smile.
“It’s so warm, so light, it’s just lovely. You open the curtains and the sun streams in.
“I live next to one of the busiest streets in Christchurch and you can’t hear any road noise. It’s beautiful.”
Alex told the crowd the new community was the second chapter in a three chapter book – and it was not the only book the Trust was writing.
The Trust had more building projects on the books and was looking for new opportunities, he said.
“Because the reality is, our city needs more of these houses. It needs more community housing.”
Cate said the development was testament to the hard work of many people, and to the bravery of the trustees.
They took a leap of faith when they approved an ambitious, multi-million project – and it worked.
Karoro Lane will be the first of the communities to welcome families, Cate said.
Like nearby Korimako Lane, it had one bedroom units – and it also had two bedroom units that mothers, fathers and children would call home.
Nearby, Southbase Construction continued work on a mix of 1,2,3 and 4-bedroom homes on Hoiho Lane.
All up, the development will consist of 70 1-bedroom homes, 14 2-bedroom homes, three 3-bedroom homes, and three 4-bedroom homes.
They are linked by shared, green spaces and communal garden areas to encourage interaction.
All residents will share the electric bike docking stations on site, and the electric vehicle scheme that ŌCHT will later trial there.
The development is the largest building project ŌCHT has commissioned since it was established in 2016.
It is the one of the largest developments of its kind under construction for an NGO in New Zealand.
Land for the development was transferred to ŌCHT as part of the 2014 Housing Accord Agreement between Christchurch City Council and the Government to capitalise the Trust.
The complex will be owned and managed by ŌCHT.
It will boost community housing stock in a city with a long community housing waiting list. More than 1500 people on the MSD Social Housing Register in December needed a home in Christchurch.
The homes replace Brougham Village, a series of Cowey Mills-designed blocks that opened in 1978 but which were left damaged and dilapidated after the Canterbury earthquakes.