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Social housing progress in the east

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Social housing progress in the east

Christchurch City Council has begun the detailed design process for eight new units at the newly repaired Knightsbridge Lane City Housing complex in Aranui, with construction due to begin in April next year.

The contract for the eight one-bedroom units, which will cater specifically for older people and those with disabilities, has been awarded to Stonewood Homes Limited. Construction will begin once the detailed design process is completed and consents are granted. The first residents are expected to move into the new units in late 2014.

Earthquake repair and strengthening work has also recently been completed on the 17 units that are currently in the complex. The four blocks have been repaired and strengthened to at least 72 per cent of the New Building Standard (NBS).

Housing Committee Chair Glenn Livingstone says the Council is pushing ahead with the repair and rebuild of its social housing units. The new committee set up to oversee social housing will ensure there is even more emphasis on replacing damaged units.

"The Council's 2649 units were all damaged to some degree in the earthquakes so repairing and replacing them is a massive task. Due to the scale of the task, we're looking at a variety of ways to replace our units.

"Building eight new units at Knightsbridge Lane is part of a much larger programme of work that has been underway to identify and build on vacant land in existing social housing complexes. We're also partnering with other agencies to build new social housing units."

Stonewood Homes Christchurch Manager Barry O'Neill says the company is able to offer the Council a quality build at a reasonable price because of the strength of its national supply deals. The company also has a strong focus on building homes that are efficient to heat.

"Those living in the homes can look forward to comfortable homes and lower energy bills," he says.

The new units will be warm, well insulated and well ventilated. They will also achieve a Lifemark '5 Star' accreditation, which demonstrates they have a certain number of design standards that ensure people can continue to live in the units even if their needs change and they need more support.

Residents currently living in the complex will have the opportunity to choose the external colours of the new units.

Construction is also progressing on 12 new units at Maurice Carter Courts in Spreydon. The first residents are expected to move into the Spreydon units in March next year.

A tendering process is also underway for the design and build of up to 25 new units across three other City Housing complexes - Harman Courts in Addington, HP Smith Courts in Richmond and Berwick Courts in At Albans. It is expected construction will begin on these units next year.

The work is being carried out under the Council's Facilities Rebuild Programme. For more information visit www.futurechristchurch.co.nz

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