News from Australasian Housing Institute
Four New Zealand housing awards were presented last night in Wellington for excellence in Social Housing, Leading Housing Project, Innovation and Asset Management. The City Housing team at Wellington City Council took out the awards for excellence in Social Housing and the Leading Housing Project award for the housing upgrade of its Central Park Apartments.
The city council was commended for its high quality tenancy services. Accepting the award for its Central Park housing upgrade, current programme manager Sonia Waters spoke about the transformation of the building from “long noisy corridors” to a design where neighbours have the chance to know each other.
Waters paid credit to tenancy advisors, as “the people who work with the people” and who “bring heart to the bricks and mortar” by connecting tenants, encouraging friendships, increasing self-esteem and “creating communities within the concrete and steel”. She also made special mention of project partners LT McGuinness, Novak + Middleton Architects, and RCP project management.
Housing New Zealand’s Driveway Safety Programme won the Leading Innovation award, and the corporation also collected an award for Leading Asset Management for its proactive Earthquake Prone Buildings Project. Given the life-saving work of the Driveway Safety Programme it was the most popular award of the night and was accepted by project manager Owen Blackburn. By property improvement measures such as self-closing gates, re-routing paths away from driveways, and locating speed humps and mirrors on longer driveways, the programme is making lives of vulnerable children safer.
Last night’s winners now go forward into the Australasian Housing Institute’s annual countrywide awards to be announced in Adelaide on 30 October.
News from WCC
Wellington City Council Manager of City Housing Vicki McLaren says the Excellence in Social Housing Award is a real feather in the cap for everyone who’s been involved in this major upgrade project.
“This is great recognition and reward for our team, all of whom have done such great work in helping to transform social housing facilities in Wellington and improving the lives of so many tenants. We’d also like to acknowledge our tenants, who have had to move out while the upgrade work on the various buildings is done, and for their contribution to the project as a whole – bringing ideas and solutions to create revitalised communities.”
The Council’s transformation of the monolithic 1960s Central Park flats in Wellington into modern stylish homes is an impressive construction project. Improvements included reconfiguring 213 units into 190 warm, dry, affordable homes, earthquake strengthening, modernising kitchens and bathrooms, enhancing communal spaces, and improving access, safety and security.
Vicki McLaren says the Central Park upgrade is another example of how it’s possible to change the lives of people who live in social housing.
“The transformation of these old buildings into 21st century homes has brought new community spirit, comfort and enjoyment for those who live there. We’d also like to acknowledge our project partners LT McGuinness, Novak + Middleton Architects, and RCP project management for their hard work and commitment to making these projects a reality. It’s a great achievement and it’s also of huge benefit for Wellington City.”
The $34 million Central Park upgrade project started in June 2010 and was completed in August 2012. It has also won the Wellington Civic Trust Award 2013 for Enhancement or Protection of the City’s Built Environment.
Central Park is one of the largest Wellington City Council social housing complexes to be upgraded as part of the Council’s 20-year joint project with the Crown to upgrade their social housing portfolio.