CONSTRUCTION of Rangimarie Trust’s four new housing units on King Street is under way and it is hoped tenants will be able to take up residence March next year.
A morning tea was hosted by members of the Rangimarie Trust on October 3 to celebrate the start of its expanding operation and the trust’s latest affordable housing option.
The trust’s first housing project was the successful Rangimarie Flats, a 12-unit one- and two-bedroomed dwelling complex at 107 Richard Street. It offers residents accommodation at 70 to 80 percent of usual market rental rate.
Opotiki building contractor Richard Howe has won the tender to build the four new units, located directly behind the St John’s Union Church Hall, off King Street.
The units are said to be within easy reach of Opotiki’s main street and will each face north to maximise passive solar heating in winter. They will have a deep, roofed veranda to ensure they stay cool in summer.
The units will include state-of-the-art design options and incorporate disability access features.
Mr Howe said sub-contractors on the project would also be from Opotiki, and he would source materials locally where he could.
Rangimarie Trust secretary Victoria Radley said one of the trust’s main aims was to support Opotiki businesses where possible.
Ms Radley said an old villa had occupied the site the new units would occupy.
All that could be recycled from the villa and section was removed before the site was cleared.
“The villa’s chimney and all of the bricks have been saved.”
They will be used to make raised gardens at the new low-cost housing facility, she said.
Ms Radley said Rangimarie Trust hoped its new tenants – who were still to be finalised – would be able to take up residence in March.
She said some people in Opotiki were unable to find affordable housing with proper disabled access, but the new units were not just limited to people with disabilities.
There was a waiting list for people wanting to occupy the units at both the new site and at Rangimarie Flats.
BayTrust representative Terry Heckleton said the community initiative funder was proud to support the affordable Rangimarie housing project.
Ms Heckleton said Rangimarie Trust had been through a three-stage process to secure its $182,000 grant and the project ticked all the trust’s boxes.
BayTrust was happy to contribute 20 percent of the total project cost as it fitted in with organisation’s social and healthy housing priorities, she said.
Ms Radley said the grant from BayTrust had been “incredible” and enabled the project to be fast-tracked.
Rangimarie trustee, former bee keeper and builder Alan Murray is project managing the initiative.
By Ross McCullough