Garside Village to be demolished3 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
The clock has been ticking on Onehunga’s Garside Village since 2018, when the residents there were told it was being redeveloped by Kāinga Ora, which is building 185 new homes, comprising of a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments. The project is part of their Jordan Avenue North redevelopment. Four years’ later, its time is up, with demolition due to start in September. However, some residents say they’re still not sure exactly when they’ll need to leave, or where they’ll be going.
The pensioner housing was built in Jordan Ave in the 1960’s, with 26 single dwellings. It’s become a friendly, safe community and resident, Josie Sanson, says there is still uncertainty as to where some of them will be going, and she’s particularly worried about some of the older residents. “Not only do we need to move out of our homes, but we might have to go to a completely new neighbourhood. One person has been here for 26 years.”
Josie has lived at Garside since last year after taking over her mother’s former tenancy, but has been involved in the community for many years as a visitor, as her mum lived there for 15 years. “I feel safe here, everybody gets on with everybody else, it’s like a little community. Every time someone goes away, everyone looks out for their place. She says she has asked to stay in the Onehunga, One Tree Hill or Royal Oak area, but was initially offered a home in Point Chevalier. She says that communication from Kāinga Ora has been sporadic and unprofessional, with people finding out things from neighbours rather than through official channels.
Another resident has been there for 20 years says he understands the need for progress and development, but has been unhappy with the process, and the uncertainty about his new home.“It would be nice to get an official letter.”
John Tubberty, Kāinga Ora’s regional director central and east Auckland, says that the moving process for Garside residents has started, and so far 12 people have either already moved or accepted an alternative Kāinga Ora home. A further four customers are going through the offer stage.
“Garside Village customers are all aware they will need to be relocated as soon as practically possible but timeframes are dependent on when a suitable property that meets their needs becomes available and can be offered to them. There was early engagement about our future intentions to redevelop the site and we re-engaged in 2021 to confirm we would be developing the site and likely timeframes. In February 2022, customers were phoned by our Tenant Rehousing team to reconfirm redevelopment and during these calls we completed housing needs assessments to determine individual customer housing requirements. These conversations were centred on preferred areas to move, any health needs and confirming household details. These discussions also included the ‘Choice to Return’.
He says their team is committed to working with the remaining Garside residents to find them suitable homes that meet their needs and recently reached out to check in with them again.
“More new homes located near Garside Village are due for completion soon and if suitable, these new homes will be offered to Garside Village customers who we still need to match to suitable Kāinga Ora home.”
An artist’s impression of the new development (Image supplied)