Tuesday, May 28, 2024

300 new public homes for Wellington

The $296 million regeneration of a landmark location on the fringe of Wellington’s CBD will provide warm, dry public homes for an estimated 900 families and individuals, Housing Minister, Megan Woods announced today.

The funding supports the delivery of the Arlington Development in Mt Cook, Wellington with infrastructure work underway, following decontamination of the site.

 “This is a significant milestone for the construction of around 300 new homes for public housing, plus shared amenities such as a playground, community gardens and rooms, offices, and orchards in the heart of central Wellington,” Dr Woods said.

 “This is what new 21st Century public housing looks like: warm, dry homes in developments that are designed to create and nurture communities, while connecting them with their immediate environment.”

The homes will be built to Homestar6 standards, meaning they will be energy efficient with high standards of sustainability around construction materials and waste.

The 17,000m2 site is Kāinga Ora’s largest in the country and will consist of 16 buildings, ranging from town houses through to six-storey light-engineered timber apartment blocks.  

Architectural lead Designgroup Stapleton Elliott have woven cultural narratives developed by local iwi alongside regeneration and urban design. The development replaces the 1970’s high-rise Arlington Apartment building that was deemed about a decade ago, to be no longer fit for purpose.

“This site and area have a rich history of social housing and a strong sense of community. This new development allows for shared amenities from orchards and gardens through to the community centre and public park at the heart of the development to help residents build a sense of belonging, pride and connection with their homes and wider community,” Dr Woods said.  

Kāinga Ora entered into an agreement with Wellington City Council in 2019 to lease, develop and maintain the site for 125 years. Since then, all previous buildings have been demolished and main infrastructure work has been underway. 

Construction of the homes will create employment and training opportunities, providing further economic stimulus to the local and national economy, the Minister said.

“Up to 7.5% of construction funding will be allocated to priority businesses, including Māori and Pacific led local businesses or social enterprises.”

“The use of light-engineered timber will also see significant reduction in carbon emissions and enables the use off-site manufacturing (OSM) for portions of the build.

“The adaptability of OSM means this build method tackles some of the major challenges facing the residential construction sector, such as reducing construction time, cost, sustainability, health and safety, and skills and materials shortages” says Minister Woods.

Construction of the first set of 16 blocks is scheduled to start later this year and completion of the homes will be staged between 2023 and 2025.  

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