Media Releases

18th Mar

2015

Home and Family granted $950,000 to restore ‘Our House’

Today’s decision by the Council to unanimously approve a Central City Landmark Heritage Grant of $950,000 for the repair and upgrade of ‘Our House’ has been met with profound gratitude and excitement, by Home & Family.

Cr Andrew Turner, Chair of the Community, Housing and Development Committee says, “I am very pleased that the council has today approved the Central City Landmark Heritage Grant which allows the repair and upgrade of this significant heritage building to proceed. This will not only see the building protected, but also open the building to public view and public access by way of a cafe and a public access garden area.”

The building, a 19th Century Grade 1, Category 1 heritage building in the heart of the city, will provide a new home and headquarters for Home & Family; who have quietly served the people of Christchurch for 117 years. Services include parenting assessment and residential parenting programmes, child counselling and therapy, adult, couple and family counseling, all of which have been extensively utilised particularly post-quake. Home & Family’s counselling and group education programmes will be run from ‘Our House’ and this new premises will enable these essential services to grow to meet the current demand.

‘Our House’ has great significance to Christchurch’s social history. The building was designed by Benjamin Mountfort and his son Cyril, and is the site of Nurse Maude’s first dispensary. Its unique heritage
features include outstanding Arts and Craft Movement stained glass windows, untouched Rimu linings and carvings by Frederick Gurnsey. The opportunity to restore such a building is an exciting one; and plans for the building also incorporate a café and open space for the public to enjoy and treasure the heritage of ‘Our House’.

President of Home & Family Society, Phillip Duval, says “this project is a very positive one for Home & Family, as well as for the people of Christchurch. We have undertaken a detailed process of due diligence in the lead up to purchasing this exceptional 19th Century Grade 1, Category 1 heritage building in the heart of a city battered and broken by earthquakes and post earthquake demolitions. So many beautiful old examples of architectural history have been lost and this is a rare opportunity to save something so very worth saving not only for its historic, heritage value and importance but also because of its connection with the fine work that the Sisters of the Community of the Sacred Name have been doing for over 100 years with vulnerable children.

‘Cr Glenn Livingstone, Chair of the Council’s Housing Taskforce, says that ‘this funding will enable the Society to have a physical home for its counselling services and to continue its work in caring for vulnerable families in Christchurch, through the provision of 24 hour assisted accommodation.’

If you are interested in finding out more about Home & Family’s services or the ‘Our House’ project, please contact:

Val Carter, Executive Director, Home & Family 021 028 44270

Phillip Duval, President, Home & Family 021 300 345

If you would like to donate to the project or learn about how to engage with the fundraising campaign, please contact:

Sarah Barrer, Fundraiser
027 544 9977
Please visit our website for more information: www.happyhomes.org.nz