Further boost to Hutt's social housing stock

An $8.4 million project is set to bring 25 new social houses to Lower Hutt.

A concept rendering of one of the EasyBuild homes which will be built at Wesley Rātā Village in Naenae.

The affordable rental homes are part of a development being run by Methodist organisation Wesley Community Action at Wesley Rātā Village in Naenae.

The project was revealed just a week after Housing New Zealand announced plans to build 123 social housing units in Epuni.

MATTHEW TSO/STUFF
Wesley Community Action director David Hanna at the site where some of the 25 new social housing units are to be built in Naenae.

Wesley Community Action director David Hanna said the organisation had identified a gap in the market for low cost rented accommodation, particularly for older people who could not afford to get into a rest home or retirement complex.

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He said they were becoming concerned with the number of baby boomers entering old age with no permanent home and few assets.

The houses will be built at the former Wesleyhaven Village which closed last year. The site formerly contained a rest home and hospital.

"This land was gifted to us after World War II out of concern for older people at that time. [We wanted to] continue supporting older people here."

While the focus of the project was on providing housing for older people there would be opportunity for younger people and families to access the units.

The houses would be available to applicants on the Government's Housing Register.

Of the 25 modular houses being assembled at the site there would be eight single-bedroom units, 13 double-bedroom units and four four-bedroom units.

The single bedroom units will cost $275 a week, two-bedroom units $350 and four-bedroom units $500. Actual rent paid by tenants will be income based with any shortfall subsidised by the Government.

Work is scheduled to start by February.

Wesley Rātā Village is on the site of the former Wesleyhaven rest home and hospital which closed last year. There are 30 existing housing units on site which are occupied.

Components for the new units are being built by Masterton company EasyBuild and will assembled on-site with help from participants of the Kiwi Can Do programme. The programme gives beneficiaries three to four weeks of practical construction experience before placing them with an employer.

Kiwi Can Do managing director Iain Morrison said assembling modular homes was a good way to start training people who did not have much construction experience.

Hanna said they were trying to create as many positive outcomes from the village project as possible and was pleased to have people from the Kiwi Can Do on-board.

"It's more than just houses, it's about community."

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