Housing Awards Shared By Housing NZ, Wellington City Council
4 October 2013
Housing Awards for Social Housing Sector Shared By Housing NZ and Wellington City Council
Four New Zealand housing awards were presented last night in Wellington for excellence in Social Housing, Leading Housing Project, Innovation and Asset Management - with the winners now going forward into the Australasian Housing Institute's annual countrywide awards to be announced in Adelaide on 30 October.
The City Housing team at Wellington City Council (WCC) took out the awards for excellence in Social Housing and the Leading Housing Project award for the housing upgrade of its Central Park Apartments.
Housing New Zealand's Driveway Safety Programme won the Leading Innovation award, and the corporation also collected an award for Leading Asset Management for its proactive Earthquake Prone Buildings Project.
WCC was commended for its high quality tenancy services. Accepting the award for its Central Park housing upgrade, current programme manager Sonia Waters spoke about the transformation of the building from "long noisy corridors" to a design where neighbours actually have the chance to know each other.
Waters paid credit to tenancy advisors, as "the people who work with the people" and who "bring heart to the bricks and mortar" by connecting tenants, encouraging friendships, increasing self-esteem and "creating communities within the concrete and steel". She also made special mention of project partners LT McGuinness, Novak + Middleton Architects, and RCP project management.
Given the life-saving work of the Driveway Safety Programme it was the most popular award of the night and was accepted by project manager Owen Blackburn. By property improvement measures such as self-closing gates, re-routing paths away from driveways, and locating speed humps and mirrors on longer driveways the programme is making lives of vulnerable children safer.
In a happy coincidence last night's awards had been preceded earlier in the day by the announcement in Auckland that the largest community housing development yet seen in New Zealand will be proceeding on surplus Government land at Weymouth in a development expected to house 1,250 people, and become the first Special Housing Area under new legislation and the Auckland Accord.
The government's Social Housing Unit director Michael Pead was present at the awards as a presenter having travelled to Wellington from the Auckland announcement.
"To see the sector advancing the way it is advancing is pleasing," said Pead, noting also that the government's social housing reform programme will continue to tip the scales "a bit" towards much more community housing involvement, with leadership from Community Housing Aotearoa and its new executive director Scott Figenshow.
Runner-up award nominees recognised at the awards event included the ComCare Trust and VisionWest Community Housing. The awards and reception were sponsored by Lake Maintenance, Compass Housing Services, Community Housing Aotearoa and The Property Group.