Inside one of the new homes at Reg Stillwell Place Inside one of the new homes at Reg Stillwell Place CREDIT: Kurt Langer / OCHT
Minister Woods with OCHT Chair Alex Skinner and CE Cate Kearney Minister Woods with OCHT Chair Alex Skinner and CE Cate Kearney CREDIT: Kurt Langer

Social Housing Returns To The East

Friday 27 November 2020, 6:08PM
By RedPR


Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust (ŌCHT ) is behind the newest addition to community housing in East Christchurch.

Officially opened today (Friday), the 19-home *Reg Stillwell Place, (189 Palmers Rd, New Brighton), is the first such development on the boundary of New Brighton and the Red Zone.

ŌCHT Chief Executive, Cate Kearney, says the new development will be welcomed by people who love living in this unique part of the city, and who continue to manage challenges after the 2010/2011 earthquakes.

“There’s a way of life here, a connection to the sea, the strong history of early Christchurch embedded in the East; people love living in this area, and ŌCHT is so pleased to be able to help some of make their homes here.”

The project is part of the agreement that the Trust has with Christchurch City Council to provide more community and affordable homes across the city.

Ms Kearney says some of the residents are returnees; people who lived in the pre-refurbished homes, and wanted to come back after the work was completed.

“Returning residents Guy and Thomas were among the first to see the new-look homes when the site was blessed this month. They are thrilled with the refurbishments and are really pleased to be back,” she says.

Reg Stillwell Place includes 12 relocatable homes that were transported from Linwood Park in August this year.  They have been refurbished as 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes. Meanwhile, a community hall that was already on the site is now a beautiful 3 bedroom home, and the six 1-bedroom bedsits have been redeveloped as 1-bedroom homes.

Thirteen of these new homes will be supplied to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development to provide much needed homes to people on the Housing Register.

Minister of Housing Minister, Megan Woods, praised the work of ŌCHT.

“The Ōtautahi Community Trust makes a real contribution to housing for the people of Christchurch,” she said today. The Minister also acknowledged the repurposing of houses built after the quakes, in creating these new homes, adding that this is a place where “people can make their dreams and live their lives.” 


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*Who was Reg Stillwell?

Reginald Henry Stillwell (1892- 1975) lived in New Brighton, was a city councillor from 1962-1971 and on the Drainage Board for 16 years. This Place was named as a tribute to his lifelong service to the community. A 34-unit council pensioner housing complex was originally built there in 1974.



  • Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust houses 2300 people in properties it manages or owns across greater Christchurch.
  • Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust is a charitable trust committed to improving and growing the city’s community housing stock.
  • ŌCHT is one of the biggest community housing providers in New Zealand but, with occupancy consistently at 98%, it cannot meet increasing demand without new investment.
  • ŌCHT will soon complete the first stage of the single biggest social housing development currently being built in New Zealand, at Brougham St, but more housing is needed.
  • The previous government pledged to build 8000 homes nationally for community housing, of which 30% were to be completed by the Community Housing sector.
  • Like other community housing providers, ŌCHT is ready and willing to build and it hopes the new Government will explore funding mechanisms to make it happen.
  • The first stage of ŌCHT’s multi-million dollar, 90-home Brougham St development is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2021. Its development provides work for more than 100 people during construction.
  • ŌCHT aspires to build 100 homes a year.