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More “Second Chance’’ homes for Housing New Zealand tenants

MEDIA RELEASE

2 March, 2016

More “Second Chance’’ homes for Housing New Zealand tenants

The next wave of restored Housing New Zealand houses has left Rolleston Prison and are being moved onto their new permanent sites for tenants and their families.

Housing New Zealand and the Department of Corrections are joint partners in a programme where damaged state houses are taken to the prison’s construction yard where prisoners upgrade them before they are transported back into the community.

To date, 18 restored houses are being enjoyed by Housing New Zealand tenants in Christchurch.

Programme Manager Shane Austin says a further seven have been recently been transported to sites across Christchurch.

Contractors were now busy connecting services, landscaping and doing other final work before tenants move in next month.

The partnership has been dubbed the “Second Chance’’ programme as it offers a second chance for the houses and the prisoners who work on them.

Prisoners involved in the programme get access to industry standard training and can learn trade skills, earn trade qualifications and improve their chances of gaining work in the construction sector upon their release.

This is regarded as an important factor in reducing reoffending rates.

The work includes recladding, rewiring and replumbing the houses while the prisoners, under trained supervision, have also added insulation to the walls and ceilings, painted the houses inside and out and installed new bathrooms, recycled kitchens and added new floor coverings.

Mr Austin says the Second Chance programmes has proved extremely beneficial and is a real “win-win’’ for both Housing New Zealand and the Department of Corrections.

“We greatly benefit because this allows us to get restored houses returned to our portfolio and this helps increase the supply of social housing in high demand area which allows us to house more people in their time of need.’’

Mr Austin says 21 houses are currently undergoing work at the construction yard with 12 of these expected to be completed later this year.

ends

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