Affordable houses taking shape

Last updated 13:00 15/01/2013

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A project to provide affordable housing in Nelson is taking shape in the Brook.

The Nelson Tasman Housing Trust is building nine rental homes which are due to be completed midyear. It is one of three building projects the trust is working on.

The trust, formed in 2004 in response to the housing affordability crisis in Nelson, owns and manages 15 houses in Nelson and Richmond. It first built four houses in Kawai St, then acquired two more. In 2010, it built nine two-bedroom units in a new subdivision in Richmond from further funds donated by the Canterbury Community Trust. Now, as well as the homes being built in the Brook, it is building another eight in St Lawrence St in Victory, and hopes to build another four there this year.

Those in the Brook will be two and three-bedroom homes, with features to reduce living costs such as extra-thick cavity and roof insulation, passive solar design, heat sinks, solar water heating, water harvesting and thermally broken window and door joinery.

Trust chairman Keith Preston said the trust wanted to get a good balance of residents. Once the homes were near completion the trust would approach social agencies and advertise for the homes' first residents.

The Brook homes are being built on land provided by the Nelson City Council. The $2.6 million project is being paid for through a $1.3m loan interest free for 10 years from Housing New Zealand and the trust is borrowing the rest from a bank.

The St Lawrence St project costs $2.1m, with a $1m grant from the Social Housing Unit, the government agency set up under the Building and Housing Group of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The trust raised the rest from a bank loan.

It is waiting for the go-ahead for a $1.1m project for four more homes in St Lawrence St, with half the cost met by the Social Housing Unit.

The trust would pay for materials, with NMIT carpentry students doing the building work.

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- The Nelson Mail

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