Major upgrade of Graham Street housing complex


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8 January 2007

A major refurbishment of Council's 13 Graham Street housing complex will begin on 15 January 2007 and run through until 13 July 2007.

The impetus behind the upgrade is to improve the quality of life and comfort for residents of Council housing complexes. The upgraded units at Graham Street will have refurbished kitchen facilities, self-contained laundries, improved insulation and modern decking.

The Graham Street upgrade signifies year one of a seven-year plan under Council's 2006-16 Long Term Plan to upgrade Council's housing complexes and is a partnership project between Council and Housing New Zealand.

Council has received approval for funding of $30,000 per unit from the Local Government Funding Scheme to refurbish 16 bedsits at the Graham Street complex. The scheme is administered by Housing New Zealand and is available for local councils seeking funding to either upgrade their existing accommodation or to build new accommodation. The funding scheme offers assistance in the form of interest-free, suspensory loans meaning that as long as a borrowing council retains their housing for a 20 year period they are not required to repay the loan. Council is the second largest provider of low-income housing in Hamilton and has made a long-term commitment to continue to provide the service.

The cost of refurbishment per unit is $66,500 including gst and Council has met the balance of these costs through the sale of surplus Council housing property at Albert Street.

In 2005, Council fully funded and completed a refurbishment of seven of the 23 bedsits within the Graham Street complex. This current upgrade will complete refurbishment of the whole complex in two stages. Stage one will run for six to eight weeks from 15 January and will upgrade the first block of six units. One of these units will be left untenanted and retained as a show home for prospective tenants while the rest of the complex is being completed. Stage two will run through to 13 July and will upgrade the remaining 10 bedsits.

Council's property unit manager Ray Pooley says the Graham Street complex was chosen as the first site for Council's seven-year housing facilities upgrade due to a number of factors.

“Council is committed to providing safe, quality accommodation for older persons within the city. The Local Government Funding Scheme provides a valuable funding resource for Council to ensure its housing complexes provide affordable and self-contained living for all occupants. Under Council’s 2006–16 Long Term Plan, funds have been allocated to upgrade a number of older units throughout Hamilton.”

The six current residents from 13 Graham Street and six from the sold Albert Street complex have been temporarily re-located to other Council-owned housing complexes within the city at Council's expense. Upon completion of the upgrade, residents can elect to return to their refurbished units or remain where they are.

NAME: Ray Pooley
DESIGNATION: Property Unit Manager
TEL (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6595
MOBILE: 021 961 749
FAX (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6612
NAME: Naomi Reynolds
DESIGNATION: Communication Advisor
TEL (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6726
MOBILE: 027 413 3448
FAX (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6761
Page reviewed: 08 Jan 2007 12:00am