Plans released for St Albans housing complex

An artist’s impression of how the Coles Pl housing complex will look. Image: Supplied
An artist’s impression of how the Coles Pl housing complex will look. Image: Supplied
A new housing complex is planned for St Albans, replacing 20 old and cold units that were demolished to make way for the development in December.

The Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust plans to build 33 modern, green building-rated homes on Coles Pl as part of its continued drive to improve the city’s community housing stock.

ŌCHT has applied to the Christchurch City Council for resource consent, and an application for building consent will follow.

Neighbours will be kept up-to-date with progress as the proposal develops, the trust says.

All tenants from the old units were rehoused in other ŌCHT communities in November, well before work to prepare the site for the construction of the new one, two, three and four-bedroom units began.

Some of the relocated tenants lived in their community for many years. Where possible, long-term tenants may have the option of returning to Coles Pl.

ŌCHT chief executive Cate Kearney said the trust aims to reduce homelessness in Christchurch with new homes that blend in with other modern, developments. 

“We’d really hope that communities understand that social and community housing is needed more now than ever, and in all suburbs, especially as we see the impact of the housing shortage, high rentals and the lingering effects of the Covid-19 response on the number of people in need of a home,” she said.

The Ministry of Social Development’s Social Housing Register routinely has more than 1000 applicants waiting for housing in the Christchurch city area.

ŌCHT commercial and development manager Ed Leeson said the new, two-storey units will be a home for a range of tenants, from single people to families.

They will be designed to achieve the New Zealand Green Building Council’s Homestar 6 rating, at a standard that is at or above those set in New Zealand building code.

Modern materials, passive solar design and high-spec insulation will help make them homes that are environmentally sound and cheaper to run, Leeson said.

Outside the homes, the surrounding area includes landscaped communal green areas and gardens, roading and parking are designed for safety and people-friendly spaces.

“This is going to be a lovely site with very attractive landscaping, green spaces, communal areas and fruit trees,” said Leeson.

“It used to be home to old units that were past their used-by date. We plan to deliver new homes that enhance the best use of our land and wider community.”

ŌCHT provided 59 new homes last year and will open another 30 when the first stage of the three stage, 90-home Brougham St development is officially opened tomorrow.

“As a landlord, ŌCHT is all about providing warm, dry, safe and modern homes,” said Leeson.

“But that is just part of the story – our leased homes have been part of Christchurch for 90 years and with our new homes we aspire to enhance the lives of our tenants and the community around them.” 

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