Thumbs up for Bundaberg revitalisation project
- 1 September 2020 2:47PM
The transformation of an older style housing complex in Bundaberg is almost complete, bringing residents a new sense of home. Brian has been a resident at the social housing property for 22 years and says the improvements make a big difference.
“We’ve got new letterboxes now, and it looks nice when you drive in and out,” says Brian.
“I think it looks a lot better with the native plants and new gardens.”
Brian says the gardens are a good way to encourage a bit of community spirit between the tenants.
“I work a lot, but I like to say hello to my neighbours whenever I can,” he says.
“With the new plants, I’m not going to let them die. I’ll do my best to look after them and water them.”
The work is part of the Queensland Government’s commitment to revitalise social housing properties across the state and has created 39 jobs for local tradespeople in Bundaberg, all managed by a local Wide-Bay Burnett builder.
The project aims to provide a more safe and secure home for the tenants living there.
“The biggest challenge we noticed was creating privacy for the tenants living downstairs,” says Adrian, who coordinated the project.
“The downstairs traffic used to go past people’s doors and windows, creating a security risk for tenants who want to leave these open. People also used to be able to walk around the whole building.”
The new design has fixed that.
“The staircase to the top-level units has been moved to redirect traffic away from the units downstairs,” says Adrian.
Tony, who has been supervising the project for QBuild, adds that a unique boundary fencing has created individual yards for the ground floor units.
“Each ground floor unit now has a private courtyard where the tenants can sit outside. The yards are secured by prowler-proof fencing.
“Each courtyard has a raised garden bed, a little garden shed and an outdoor clothesline.”
The revitalisation work also aims to improve the streetscape of the property.
“There are sensor lights being installed in the front carpark for safety, a bench seat out the front and native and edible plants at the front, side and rear of the property.”
Teaming up with the tenants
Adrian says the architects had inspiration from the tenants for the new design.
“We met with the tenants, architects and QBuild in Bundaberg last year to find out exactly what the challenges and opportunities were,” he says.
“We gave the tenants the freedom to provide as many ideas as they wanted and used their feedback in our planning.
“So far, the result has been really positive.”
“The local builder has employed concreters, bricklayers, renderers, plumbers, painters, landscapers, scaffolders and carpenters, among others, all from the local area,” says Tony.
“We also worked closely with the builder to stage the work in a way that minimises disruption for the tenants, so they’ve been able to go about their lives while construction is underway.”
“It’s been a good partnership so far, but the highlight for me has really been working alongside the tenants. They’ve been unbelievably great.”
Go to our website to learn more about social housing revitalisation in Queensland.