Council confirmed on Monday that the project would go ahead.
“The redevelopment will improve the overall quality of the housing at Papaioea Place and will allow us to increase in the number of units at an affordable cost that Council can provide for community housing without requiring additional land”, says Mayor Grant Smith.
Council approved a proposal from a consortium led by Taranaki based Latitude Homes which also involves contractors from Palmerston North. This followed a formal tender process.
Mayor Smith said the development also represents a wonderful opportunity for local contractors.
“This is a major project involving local architects and various sub-contractors. It will be a project this city can be proud particularly as it will improve the quality of living for some of the more vulnerable members of our community.”
Residents at Papaioea Place were informed of the Council’s decision at a meeting held there this afternoon.
The construction will take place after the progressive demolition of the majority of aging units to ensure minimal disruption for tenants. A firm timeline will be established with Latitude Homes next week.
“We expect to complete the construction of all 48 units under stage one of the project by the middle of 2019,” says PNCC Parks and Property Manager John Brenkley. “The first block of units should be ready for accommodating tenants as early as the end of February 2018.”
Mayor Smith says another 30 units could be built in the second stage of the project.
“This would create a total of 78 units in the future… but that would require additional funding to be approved,” says Mayor Smith.
Councillor Susan Baty has led the project’s working party and is delighted with the first stage of the proposal being approval by Council.
“This has been a long process, starting back in 2008 when these units were identified as not meeting modern building standards, especially in the area of energy efficiency, an area of concern for our tenants,” Cr Baty says. “We have been in communication with tenants over this time and they have been eagerly anticipating an announcement.”
As well as being eco-friendly, every unit will have disabled access facilities and modern open plan designs.