Supporting communities  |  30 Mar 2022

A charitable organisation which plans to build a seven-unit affordable housing facility for vulnerable young families has been given a helping hand.

Christchurch City Council today approved a grant of $300,000 to the Society of St Vincent de Paul towards construction of the Pavitt Street Housing Project.

The funding has been given through the Council’s Capital Endowment Fund.

“The grant will go towards the development of a purpose-built facility that will give up to seven young families at a time access to warm, affordable and secure housing along with wrap-around support,” Councillor Sara Templeton, Chairperson of the Sustainability and Community Resilience Committee, says.

“Some of the most at-risk members of our community will benefit from this project, right from when the doors open and for many years to come, so we are very pleased to stand in support of this much needed facility.”

 The Society is collaborating with St John of God Waipuna which will provide wrap-around support to those living in the facility via the Housing Opportunities for Parental Enhancement (HOPE) programme.

Area President Mike Daly says the aim is to provide suitable accommodation for parents aged primarily between 17 – 24 years old, with weekly rent determined on an individual basis

“The idea is that young parents are supported to build life skills in a safe, secure environment.”

 Construction started at the end of last year and the facility is on track to open in November.

“This grant means we have the confidence to continue to completion. We’ll still have a (funding) shortfall but it will be smaller and more achievable to try and recover.”

The complex will comprise six new two-bedroom units and one three bedroom unit which will be available to rent for between three months and two years. It is being built behind Society headquarters in the suburb of Richmond.  

The Committee has also agreed to give a $400,000 grant over two financial years to Woolston Brass towards construction of a new band room.

The existing band room was built in 1905 but suffered significant damage in the Canterbury earthquakes. It continues to be used by around 200 regular members and nine external organisations. Woolston Brass plans to begin construction of the new band room in 2023.

A $200,000 grant to North Avon BMX Club has also been approved. It will help build a new pumptrack in Bexley Reserve.

Canterbury Softball was also granted $100,000 to upgrade the existing 30-year-old lime softball diamonds at Cuthbert’s Green to an artificial surface.

Grants from the Capital Endowment Fund – from proceeds of the sale of Orion’s investment in a gas company – support projects that benefit the city and local communities.