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Unique Lancewood Courts To Open

Eleven housing units in Beckenham signal the first partnership of its Type in New Zealand when they are opened next month.

Lancewood Courts in Percival Street will be opened by Christchurch's Mayor Garry Moore at 2pm on September 2.

The Beckenham Community Housing Trust will manage the units and Encourage independence within a supportive environment. The concept is to provide a relatively stable community for those seeking a medium to long-term living environment.

The unique project began when the Colombo Street Baptist Church debated what to do with two residential sections it owned in Percival Street. The sections, and houses on them, had been bought some years earlier to develop some type of community ministry.

The church had arrived at a financial crossroads and the recommendation was to sell the sections.

Then Derek Willis of the church's congregation suggested that community housing be built. Derek and his wife, Margaret, headed a small committee that investigated the scheme. They discovered that the Christchurch City Council was interested to develop a venture and so a partnership was formed between the trust and the Council to build the community houses on the two sections in Percival Street, Beckenham.

The chairwoman of the Community Services Committee, Cr. Carole Anderton, says a positive partnership has been formed between the Council and the church.

"I am extremely pleased with the result. We now have good-quality housing with excellent design on land where two very old houses existed before we started this unique scheme. It really is win win," Cr. Anderton says. The Council built the units for $900,000 and the trust raised $230,000 for landscaping, site works and chattels.

Rentals are fixed at 80 per cent of market rates.

NB: At the opening ceremony at 2pm on 2 September afternoon tea will be served, a ribbon will be cut and balloons released. The media will be allowed to visit a couple of the units if they wish.

Further information: Margaret Willis: 337 1395.

Sam Fisher Corporate Communication Co-ordinator Christchurch City Council 03 371-1762 025 229 3552

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