New Spreydon units planned for elderly

Last updated 14:36 11/07/2013

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Construction on 12 new one-bedroom social housing units in Spreydon will begin in September, with the first residents expected to move in by February, the Christchurch City Council says.

The council today announced it had awarded the contract for the design and build of the new units at Spreydon's Maurice Carter Courts to Christchurch-based building company Fusion Homes Limited.

The houses would be built on empty land in the Dundee Pl social housing complex in Spreydon and would cater specifically for older people.

Mayor Bob Parker said the replacement of damaged social housing units was a priority for the council.

''These first new units will be a pilot for more new social housing units the Council has planned - and we're looking forward to turning the first sod.''

Council staff were currently evaluating tenders to build seven new units on vacant land in Knightsbridge Lane, Aranui, and had called for tenders for the design and build of up to 25 new social housing units at HP Smith Courts in Richmond, Berwick Courts in St Albans and Harman Courts in Addington.

Council community support manager Carolyn Gallagher said the Spreydon units would be partly prefabricated, meaning they could be built more quickly than normal.

It was expected the first residents would move into the new units in February next year.

The units would be the council's first to achieve Lifemark's '5 Star' accreditation, which would show they were suitable for older people and those with disabilities as their needs changed.

Lifemark general manager Andrew Olsen said the council would be saving ratepayer and Government money by ''doing it right the first time''.

The cost of altering houses to meet people's changing needs amounted to millions of dollars every year, but Christchurch had an opportunity to save money with each new home that was built, he said.

"Now that the lead has been shown by Christchurch City Council, Lifemark are looking forward to working with other housing providers in New Zealand to ensure their housing stock is also suitably designed."

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