Multi-million Wgtn homeless hub build delayed, but on the way

5:47 pm on 3 October 2021

The pandemic has delayed construction of a community hub planned to help Wellington's homeless.

Concept of the cafe.

Concept art of the hub design, showing the cafe. Photo: Supplied

Building of the Wellington City Mission's Whakamaru centre was supposed to start in September.

But spokesperson Murray Edridge said the pandemic and problems in the construction sector had boosted building costs.

He said by working with the builders he had been able to bring some costs down by changing the design and building methods, without compromising quality.

The Government injected $10 million of shovel ready project funding into the project.

There was an increasing need for the building, Edridge said.

"We're of the belief that Whakamaru is ... a game-changer for Wellington, so we're keen to get it established, and get it open and operating as soon as we can.

"At this stage it looks like the middle of 2023."

The hub was envisioned as a "transformative community hub for all Wellingtonians", the organisation's website said; it would include 35 transitional housing units, a cafe designed to encourage socialising, a "free social supermarket".

The Mission predicted it would create 120 jobs.

Construction was expected to start soon.

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