Construction of relief homes for flood-hit residents starts

Construction of relief homes is under way for Westport residents affected by flooding last year.

The first houses were expected to be delivered next month to the Alma Rd site — on a terrace on the south side of the Buller Bridge, directly opposite Westport township — and families would move in from October, Housing Minister Megan Woods announced this week.

The Buller District Council has granted land-use consent for the temporary accommodation village to go ahead, and 22 houses are being constructed off site, 20 for Alma Rd and two for another site in Westport.

Contracts for building the homes have been awarded to two companies — South Peak Homes in Westport (10 homes) and Laing Properties in Christchurch (12 homes).

"This initiative demonstrates this Government’s support for regional communities and our commitment to provide safe, warm homes for people while they continue to get back on their feet after the devastating flooding of last year," Ms Woods said.

Work on the $17.08 million temporary village is also under way and a new access road has been completed.

On site, piling and civil infrastructure works is progressing well.

The development’s plans also include a new cycle and walkway next to the Buller Bridge to separate pedestrians and cyclists from vehicles along Alma Rd.

"Temporary accommodation enables people to remain in their community as they repair and rebuild their homes following an emergency event and our Government recognises how crucial this is."

A year after the Westport floods, 40 residents and families are still being supported — 12 in portable cabins on their properties, 20 in motel rooms and eight in temporary housing. — Greymouth Star

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