Projects partners stand in front of the Takai Here Tāngata development in Taita, Lower Hutt.

Laying down strong foundations for future whānau

Construction of nineteen new homes is well underway in Taita, Lower Hutt for whānau, who are currently in housing stress.

Takai Here Tāngata is the first housing development driven by an innovative housing partnership between Hutt City Council, Kahungunu Whānau Services, Te Rūnanganui o Te Āti Awa, and Council-controlled organisation Urban Plus Limited.

Kahungunu Whānau Services Chief Executive Ali Hamlin-Paenga says, “There are too many whānau who are homeless and our tamariki should not be living in emergency housing. We must change the narrative for our future generations. We have some big goals and aspirations for the people we serve and this housing development is the start. Kahungunu Whānau Services is committed to having 150 homes under construction in the next 18 months and the only way we can do this is by partnering in this way.”

Hutt City Mayor Campbell Barry says that Council has shifted its housing aims towards finding people permanent homes.

“In order for Council to play its part in tackling the housing crisis in Lower Hutt, we are partnering with organisations at the heart of helping whānau find homes. Takai Here Tāngata is an example of this in action, and will make a real difference for people in need.

“The partnership model ensures that UPL undertakes these projects at no cost to ratepayers or to Council.”

Kura Moeahu, Chair of Te Rūnanganui o Te Āti Awa says the Rūnanga fully supports and is behind Takai Here Tāngata. “It’s really satisfying knowing that these homes are now in motion. We want to support and enable our whānau into having a good home that is warm and safe.”

Pamela Bell, Chair of Urban Plus Ltd, is excited that swift progress is now being made on the build despite Covid impacting supply chains and causing strain on the resourcing of materials and sourcing tradespeople. “A lot of hard work has gone into our partnership and we’re really looking forward to see where it may take us next. Seeing the progress today on site is so positive and provides hope for everyone involved, the neighbourhood and most importantly for those who have no place to call home.”

The homes are being built to Homestar-6 standards which is a first for Urban Plus on this scale and for many of the tradespeople working on the project. Homestar-6 is above the NZ Building Code for sustainability features which means warmer, drier homes with lower running costs for the people who live in homes built to this standard. Within the full construction crew of builders, plumbers, electricians and other trades on site there are over a dozen apprentices working on this project.

The homes are expected to be completed and delivered to the partnership for whānau to move in later in May 2022.

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