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City Housing assesses complex for future

City Housing assesses complex for future maintenance needs

When Brougham Village was built in the mid 1970s, it was an award-winning building design. Today, however, the outmoded design, method of construction and use of materials has resulted in high-cost maintenance at City Housing’s second largest social housing complex.

City Housing, Christchurch City Council’s social housing business, is to undertake a full condition assessment of the complex during the next few months to more effectively plan future maintenance at the site, says City Housing Manager Kevin Bennett.

“Brougham Village is a mixed unit complex, the design of which tends to display all the stereotypical problems experienced across the Council’s portfolio of 2651 units located on 116 sites.”

In particular, the issues are the high-pitched ceilings – a design feature in some units – which contribute to the loss of and poor distribution of heat; the concrete block construction and associated condensation problems; bubble Perspex windows – add-on kitchen shells – and associated poor insulation and the multi-storey design resulting in any leakages damaging a number of units.

“The full condition assessment will form a pilot to be rolled out across the other complexes. This work will fully detail the condition of each unit and allow us to plan and help provide residents with a more comfortable living environment.”

The work at Brougham Village will be carried out over the next few months, with a detailed report expected in April 2007.

Mr Bennett said the Council was committed to providing all its tenants – existing and future – with long-term housing options.

Christchurch City Council has been providing low-cost housing for low-income Christchurch residents for almost 70 years, being a pioneer of social housing in New Zealand in 1938 when the construction of 16 pensioner units.

Today, the Council is New Zealand’s second largest provider of affordable social housing, its 2651 units representing 7 per cent of Christchurch’s rental housing market.

Council is expected to release its Draft Social Housing Strategy for public consultation early next month which provides a framework for the future development of social housing in Christchurch.

ENDS

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