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Christmas arrived early for Clarke St residents

Christmas arrived early for Clarke St residents

Clarke Street is buzzing this week as 20 excited residents moved from dated, inaccessible and poorly positioned accommodation into brand new functional homes.

Chris Johnstone, Tauranga Community Housing Trust Manager says the new homes will bring much joy to these Gate Pa residents and families who will now be settled before Christmas.

“Modern, affordable and warm dry housing for over 20 people with a serious housing need has been achieved, and we are delighted,” she says. “The fact it looks so good, is a huge bonus.”

The non-profit Trust identified the housing need for these residents who have a range of physical, intellectual or financial barriers and forged ahead with help from various partners to make it possible.

“We couldn’t have done this without a capital grant from central Government and the high level of support from local funders such as Bay Trust and TECT. This project demonstrates what can be achieved through partnerships between central Government, local Government, the non-government sector and local funders,” says Johnstone. “We look forward to continued future support in helping achieve other developments, to meet this growing need.”

Until now, Clarke St residents in mobility scooters or wheelchairs struggled with access due to the layout of their homes.

“In design stage, it was important to us that at least half of the dwellings were fully wheelchair friendly. And the site had to be accessible in terms of land contour, proximity to transport, health services and community services,” she says.

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In addition, while the properties had to be affordable, they also had to have solid capital gain potential.

Classic Builders were contracted to develop the 14-units on the 2500sqm site, comfortably housing over 20 people including children, if need be.
Matthew Lagerberg, Classic Builders co-director, says this development is an urban design that is functional, affordable and provides good quality properties.

“We are following trends in cities like Melbourne, Auckland, Queenstown, and now Tauranga, where high density living situations are become the norm.

“Plus the proximity to infrastructure such as Tauranga Hospital and medical amenities is a tremendous positive, making life so much easier for those needing to access healthcare on a regular basis,” says Lagerberg. “It needs to be understood that high density developments work really well for those living in them and no corners are cut in providing these good quality, affordable homes.”

New tenant, James Martin, moved in last week and says he has been well looked after by the Tauranga Community Housing Trust.

“I love it here. I feel so proud to be in a new house. It’s so tidy and I know three neighbours from my previous address, so that’s great.”

The new housing development already has a friendly feel with some landscaping and a central area of wooden bench seats and pergola placed in the middle of the units to encourage community.

Recently appointed Minister of Social Housing, Minister Paula Bennett, has been invited to open the Clarke St project in the New Year. An appropriate name is currently being considered for the new housing development.


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