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Council City Housing Units to close

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Council City Housing Units to close

Christchurch City Council is today closing 31 units in three social housing complexes across the city and staff will be working closely with residents to identify alternative homes for them.

The Council is closing the 17 units in the Knightsbridge Lane City Housing Complex in Aranui, seven units in the 13-unit Louisson Courts City Housing Complex in Opawa and seven units in the 13-unit Avonheath Courts City Housing Complex in Redcliffs. The closures come after the Council received the results of Detailed Engineering Evaluation (DEE) assessments that show the buildings have a seismic capacity of less than 34 per cent of the New Building Standard (NBS). All the remaining units in Avonheath and Louisson Courts were already closed due to earthquake damage.

As engineers have advised that these buildings are below 34 per cent of the NBS, the Council is today giving the 31 affected residents 90 days' notice under Section 51 of the Residential Tenancies Act. Council City Housing staff will be advising residents of the closure today and will liaise with them to look at alternative housing options.

Community Services General Manager Michael Aitken says it is a difficult time for residents. While closing the complexes is a cautious approach, the Council has made a commitment to close its buildings that are assessed as below 34 per cent of the NBS to ensure the ongoing safety of those using and living in its buildings.

"This is a distressing time for residents but Council staff will be working closely with those affected over the coming days to identify alternative homes for them. There are other City Housing units available for those who wish to remain in a Council-owned unit, which we hope will help to alleviate some of the disruption that will result from today's decision."

The results of the DEE assessments on the three complexes show the following:

* The seismic capacity of the buildings at Avonheath Courts range from 21 per cent of the NBS to 33 per cent of the NBS. * All four blocks at Knightsbridge Lane are estimated to have a seismic capacity of 22 per cent of the NBS. * Louisson Courts has an estimated seismic capacity of less than 34 per cent of the NBS.

The complexes underwent Level Two Rapid Assessments - visual engineering assessments of the inside and outside of a building - after the major earthquakes. At the time, units that were considered not fit to occupy were vacated.

Now that the units are closed, the Council will carry out full damage assessments of the buildings, which will include the development of repair and strengthening options.

For more information about the Council's Detailed Engineering Evaluations, which are being carried out as part of its Facilities Rebuild Plan project, visit www.ccc.govt.nz/facilitiesrebuild. A copy of the engineering reports for the housing complexes will also be available on this website.

ENDS

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