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Source: New Zealand Government

Construction of relief homes is underway for Westport residents affected by flooding with the first houses expected to be delivered to site next month and families moving in from October, Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods has announced.

Buller District Council has granted land-use consent for the Temporary Accommodation Village to go ahead, and 22 houses are being constructed offsite, with 20 to be placed on Alma Road, and two to be deployed elsewhere in Westport.

Contracts for building the homes have been awarded to two companies – South Peak Homes in Westport (10 homes) and Laing Properties in Christchurch (12 homes).

“This initiative demonstrates this Government’s support for regional communities and our commitment to provide safe, warm homes for people while they continue to get back on their feet after the devastating flooding of last year,” Megan Woods said.

Work on the $17.08 million village is underway and a new access road has been completed. On site, piling and civil infrastructure works is progressing well. The development’s plans also include a new cycle and walkway next to the existing road bridge to separate pedestrians and cyclists from vehicles along Alma Road.

“Temporary accommodation enables people to remain in their community as they repair and rebuild their homes following an emergency event and our Government recognises how crucial this is.

“In Budget 2022, we committed $6.95 million to ensure the Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) can keep providing this critical service as we continue to see an increase in the severity and frequency of events like the devastating Westport floods,” Minister Woods said.

A year after MBIE’s Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) was activated on 21 July 2021 in response to the Westport flooding, it is continuing to support 40 residents and families with portable cabins that are on site on their properties (12), motel rooms (20) and TAS-procured houses (8).

A further six households are not currently in TAS accommodation but have registered a future need. TAS registrations are still open for flood affected households in the Westport community who need accommodation support in future.

Notes to editor

The $17.08 million TAS funding provides for the building of the homes, connection of services, and landscaping, as well as the overseeing landlord, tenancy and property management operations. The land at Alma Road was provided by the Buller District Council to support the Village development.