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Development Milestone for Dunedin Social Housing Project

Development Milestone for Dunedin Social Housing Project

Planned Salvation Army social housing in Dunedin has reached a significant development milestone with the local council having granted building consent in the past month.

The 30 apartments are to be constructed on a floor of a mixed-use heritage building that will also house market-rate apartments on the upper floors and commercial users on the ground floor.

The social housing development will consist of 28 one-bedroom units, along with one two-bedroom unit and one three-bedroom unit, with a community space and office for a tenancy manager. Tenants will come from the government’s Housing Register.

Built in 1873, with additions made in 1883 and 1929, the Heritage New Zealand category 2-listed property was originally known as the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile building.

At the time of its construction, the local Otago Witness newspaper described it as ‘probably the finest building of its kind in New Zealand’.

A Dunedin businessman, Russell Lund, is renovating the entire building, with the social housing units to be leased to The Salvation Army for an initial period of 15 years. Renowned Australian architect Robert Morris Nunn, whose firm has won more than 50 design awards both in Australia and internationally, is designing the social housing space.

The overall design concept celebrates the original building materials, such as the internal wood structure, perimeter stone walls, high ceilings and high wooden-framed windows.

Salvation Army Social Housing National Director Greg Foster says that the development will help to meet the high demand for affordable housing in Dunedin.

‘It is an innovative social housing project and I believe it is the first time social housing has been built in a heritage building in New Zealand,’ says Greg.

‘It’s a major conversion with a world-class architect developing the plans and layout. The tenants will have a great living space, with an expected move-in date at the end of 2024.’   

The building is in the heart of Dunedin’s inner waterfront area and is close to the city centre, railway station and local supermarkets.

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