Brook Valley affordable homes open
A Nelson pensioner is looking forward to combining a passion for living carefully with a passion for community living.
Helen Lynch is a resident of one of the nine new houses built in a Nelson Tasman Housing Trust development at the Brook Valley.
Her grand-daughter Ryder Henley-Grieve, 2, helped Nelson MP and Housing Minister Nick Smith plant a lemon tree on grounds of the development last Friday.
Ms Lynch, who now lives in one of the two-bedroom units, said she had heard about the development about 18 months ago, and put her name forward because she was a pensioner and rent around the city was too high.
The houses, which are rented to to low to middle-income families at 80 per cent of market rates, would be more affordable, and their eco-friendly design would cut down on bills, she said.
"I'm excited to be part of the first one."
She had lived in the Brook Holiday Park for the last four years, and now wanted to save money on rent and food so she could travel to visit her family.
She had a big family of six children, which had forced her to live economically in the past, she said.
"I remember saying that the power bill was always too expensive for us so we cut back. We decided to limit showers, and kept an eye on each other. I remember turning the heat on the hot water down and not telling them."
"I really came because I'm quite passionate about living carefully."
She was also passionate about community living, and was excited to meet her fellow residents.
"I think it's going to work really well."
The development was built by Hybrid Homes on land gifted to the Housing Trust by the Nelson City Council.
Half the funding came from Housing New Zealand in the form of a $1.3 million loan from the Housing Innovation Fund.
The nine homes are a mixture of two and three-bedroom units, all energy efficient with solar hot water systems and heat pumps, and modern insulation.
This is the Housing Trust's fourth scheme and the second to be completed this year.
The other scheme completed this year was a development on St Lawrence St. The trust now has 32 homes in its portfolio.
Speaking at the opening, Dr Smith said the development showed the Housing Trust was at the cutting edge of change in social housing.
It was great value for money for the taxpayer support and provided a good service for their tenants, he said.
Trustee Doug McClearie said the construction of the property had been a long journey, with the finished product representing a lot of effort by a lot of people.
"[We] saw this as demonstrating to the people of Nelson that an affordable housing scheme could be developed in a sympathetic way with its surroundings."
Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio said it was great to see such a community project come together.
- © Fairfax NZ News