Kotuku Apartments - transformation begins

31 October 2014

Homes for 50 more people will be created when the $7.4 million transformation of the Kotuku Apartments, in Kemp Street, Kilbirnie, is complete.

Artists impression of upgraded Kotuku flats.

An impression of what the upgraded Kotuku flats will look like in 2016

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Kotuku is the latest Wellington City Council social housing complex to undergo a transformation as part of Wellington City Council’s $400 million housing upgrade programme. Work on the site started this week.

Maycroft Construction will lead the $7.4 million upgrade project over the next 18 months. The complex, built in the 1960s, currently comprises 103 bedsit units in four blocks, each four storeys high. The buildings will be quake-strengthened and then given a thorough makeover to bring the complex up to 21st-century standards.

Walls will be knocked out to create larger apartments, kitchens and bathrooms will be upgraded, insulation and ventilation improved and data cabling and new wiring installed.

“As well as a stylish modern exterior the upgraded complex will feature more green and usable outdoor space for tenants including vegetable gardens, fruit trees and a BBQ area. It will be exciting to see yet another major housing complex transformed,” says Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

"Our Council is deeply committed to social housing, stronger communities and ending homelessness. Warm dry affordable housing is a basic right. "

Community, Sport and Recreation Committee Chair Paul Eagle says the Kotuku upgrade is part of the Council’s ongoing commitment to provide tenants with modern, secure, fit-for-purpose homes during their time of need.

“Finding a good-sized home is a challenge for most people, but especially low income families. That’s why we’re transforming some old bedsits into 10 family units.”

Cr Eagle noted that tenants were involved in the planning stage of the upgrade, advising Opus International on their priorities for the project. Tenants were also among the first to preview the final designs. The Council’s City Housing unit, which is managing the upgrade, has been working with tenants since 2008 at Kotuku on the impact of the changes.

“It’s important that people have a chance to shape their own future and we made sure that has happened.”

Cr Eagle says the Council had made good progress upgrading its housing stock over several years in Newtown and the central city.

“It’s great that the eastern suburbs are now also seeing progress with Kotuku – and the Marshall Court Apartments in Miramar.”

Once completed, the Kotuku site will be able to house 50 more residents, in 33 studio (bedsit) units, 30 one-bedroom, five two-bedroom and five four-bedroom units.

Two ambulant units on the ground floor will have ramp access and wider doors and level access showers to cater for tenants with reduced mobility.

The entire site is expected to be completely refurbished and ready for re-occupation early in 2016.

Background

  • The Kotuku upgrade is part of the $400 million Housing Upgrade Programme that is 50:50 funded by the City Council and the Government.
  • The Council’s portfolio comprises some 2300 houses and units – 40 large sites around the city, 12 smaller sites and 126 standalone houses
  • 3574 residents are housed (2724 adults and 850 children).