We’ve officially opened a tenth community that’s much more than bricks and mortar.
Housing Minister Megan Woods this morning helped cut the ribbon at ŌCHT’s 37 home development at Gowerton Place, Richmond.
The Wigram MP was joined by Christchurch East MP and Associate Housing Minister Poto Williams, and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene.
It’s the fifth ŌCHT development Mrs Woods has opened since 2020 and she anticipates many more.
As the drizzle fell, Mrs Woods described ŌCHT as a key strategic partner in the push to deliver more public housing in Christchurch.
The government supports new community housing via the income related rent subsidy and the associated operations subsidy.
For ŌCHT, that 25-year investment figure was $39,730,578.48 across 143 houses, Mrs Woods said.
Mrs Woods looked forward to growing and strengthening the partnership between government and ŌCHT.
“This relationship, these houses and the community around them speak to the important role of the home,” she said.
“Not just bricks and mortar, but in its broadest sense, as a pillar of community wellbeing.
“It is the place where everyday New Zealanders can live and be brought up.”
The new homes replace 30 previously Christchurch City Council-owned units that were badly damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes.
The land and the nearly 60-year-old units were transferred to ŌCHT as part of the Christchurch Housing Accord that capitalised the Trust.
Christchurch deputy mayor Andrew Turner said the council envisaged modern, aspirational development when it capitalised the Trust.
Gowerton Place was yet another example of what has been made possible with city support, he said.
“The Homestar 6 homes reflect the city’s aspiration to be a leading, innovative green city where people and the environment are right at the centre of planning and development,” Mr Turner said.
“I am pleased to see these homes exceed the Building Code standards with resource -efficient layouts, good insulation and high-performing thermal envelopes.
“The result is that they are comfortable and efficient to run- and will be great homes for the people who will live in them.”
The homes will provide an important boost to community housing in a city where more than 1000 people are on the public housing waiting list.
The homes were designed by Gravity Architecture and delivered by Consortium Construction.
ŌCHT board chairman Alex Skinner said the new homes reflected a commitment to provide socially and environmentally designed homes.
The development provides plenty of shared space and landscaping that reflects ŌCHT’s desire to include Te Ao Maori and cultural design.
The Trust wanted to show community housing can be at the front of residential design and aimed for high Homestar ratings.
Its new developments sought to show what community housing can be, not what it used to be, Mr Skinner said.
ŌCHT chief executive Cate Kearney noted the development was tenth delivered by the Trust, and the fifth opened by Mrs Woods.
The Trust has delivered 143 new homes since 2020, and 198 since 2017. All projects arrived on time and under budget, she said.
The new homes further demonstrated the Trust’s design and construction capability, and the standards achieved by its project partners.
They were also a tangible demonstration of what can be achieved when the Trust, the council and the government work together.
“We’re proud to be part of a community housing sector that works with government to increase warm dry homes for those most in need of housing.”
Ms Kearney thanked the neighbouring community for engaging with the Trust as the community housing site of 60-years was reinvigorated.
The Trust was there to be a good neighbour today, tomorrow, and for the next 60 years, she said.
Tenants will come from the Public Housing Register. The tenant allocation process has started and will continue into the new year.
They’ll move to a community of 34 one-bedroom units, and one each of 2-bed, 3-bed and 4-bed units.
The two-storey, 4-bedroom home stands alone at the top of the site. The other homes are spread across five, two storey blocks.
The homes all face a large communal area that includes car parks, green space, a pergola and raised vegetable garden beds.
The inside boundary is marked by a plant-lined creek. On the other side are council-owned and ŌCHT-managed Whakahoa Village and homes owned by Kāinaga Ora.
Published December 12, 2021