People in desperate need of safe, secure accommodation have started moving into newly constructed social housing in Manurewa, South Auckland.

The three-storey building consists of 17 single bedroom units plus a tenancy manager office and shared community space. New residents started moving in the day after the blessing ceremony held on 28 February.

Manurewa Corps Plant Officer and Kaihāpai mo Te Manatū Māori—Advocate for Māori Ministries, Captain Faye Molen, led the blessing ceremony, while Matua Walter Aranui opened the occasion with a karakia (prayer) and waiata (song). Four of the new residents, who are part of the Manurewa Corps Plant (church), attended the blessing. 

The units are a generous 50 square metres in size and are spacious, warm and inviting. Each has its own private balcony or garden.

The building itself is well located for public transport and shops, along with community facilities such as parks and a public library.

Salvation Army Social Housing National Housing Operations Manager Fiona Matthews says that The Salvation Army has a long-term lease on the building and is partnering with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

Residents come from the Government’s Housing Register and pay income-related rent. They are likely to be a mix of ages with most to date referred by Salvation Army services.

‘An advantage of this building is that the Senior Tenancy Manager David Farland has an office on site and there is a community space, both of which are not always present in housing developments,’ says Fiona.

‘We hope that the community area will be a focal point for residents and help to build a sense of community.’

David will work closely with The Salvation Army’s Manurewa Corps Plant and chaplaincy services will be available to all residents.

‘It is really rewarding to be able to provide quality, affordable new housing to people in need in South Auckland where there is a severe housing need,’ says Fiona.

The Salvation Army currently provides 84 homes in South Auckland, with plans to build a further 50 alongside existing social housing in Flatbush. Nationally, The Salvation Army operates social housing in 24 locations.