Outside of the Suzanne Lund Community Loft Apartments

We are delighted to share an update on the Salvation Army’s latest social housing project, which had its grand opening on June 5, 2024. The opening ceremony, attended by key figures including Hon Chris Bishop (Minister of Housing), Jules Radich (Mayor of Dunedin), and Guy Brocklehurst, from the Housing Supply team, marked a significant milestone in community housing.

Breathing new life into history

The New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co. Ltd building, also known as the Otago Wool Stores, has a storied past dating back to its construction in 1872. Over the years, this historic building has served various purposes, from goods storage to go-cart racing. Today, it embarks on a new journey as the "Suzanne Lund Community Loft Apartments," a pioneering social housing project in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The conversion of this landmark, previously used for goods storage and even go-cart racing, into social housing is a first in Aotearoa New Zealand. The building now includes 28 studio apartments, one two-bedroom apartment, and one three-bedroom apartment. HUD has endorsed a funding contract with The Salvation Army for an initial 15-year lease. Community amenities include an office for a full-time housing support manager, a community room, a courtyard with outdoor seating, a drying room, and bike storage. Additionally, while the first floor is dedicated to community housing, the second floor offers units for private short-term lets with a separate entrance.

The project was initiated in 2019 when Salvation Army Director of Social Housing and Property, Greg Foster, was approached by developer Russell Lund, who named the building "Suzanne Lund Community Loft Apartments" in honour of his ill wife. Renowned Australian architect Robert Morris-Nunn was engaged to ensure the residents would love their new homes.

Supported by the Dunedin City Council and HUD, the plans were approved in 2020, and the final certificate for public use was issued on June 4, 2024, with the first families moving in from June 18.

The Salvation Army now manages 471 social and transitional properties in 26 locations across Aotearoa, demonstrating our commitment to providing safe and supportive housing for those in need.

Find out more on the Salvation Army website(external link).