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New Dwell homes

Dwell is excited to be building more homes in Kilbirnie, Wellington. We are so pleased we can provide more homes to children and adults who are in need of housing in the Wellington region.

This development provides an opportunity to build a multi-unit complex that is innovative, modern and utilises the space well. Pictures showing the progress of construction can be found on the development progress page.

New Mahora 01x700 

New Mahora 02x700

What we are doing

  • Building 14 homes in three buildings.
  • Six are one bedroom or studio units, a further six are two bedroom units and two are three-bedroom units.
  • The homes have been designed by Novak+Middleton Architects, who are passionate Wellingtonians and experienced in social housing design. Wilson Building Ltd are building the homes.
  • The buildings are two and three storeys in height and the apartments within are either single level or two levels.
  • Creating on site carparks, communal landscaped areas with seating and a bike shed. The entire site will be fenced and fully landscaped.

Here are the plans for the Mahora development, which have been approved by Wellington City Council.

The timeline

  • The construction period for this development will be from the end of March 2018 and it is planned to be completed in mid 2019.

The features

We are maximising the site’s potential while creating homes and spaces where we would all like to live. The homes will be:

  • Safe, secure and comfortable homes where people can thrive.
  • An attractive addition to the neighbourhood and a complex where neighbours can happily live together.
  • A design that fits in with the site and the surroundings, with consideration to the immediate neighbours and the wider neighbourhood.
  • Have energy saving features to minimise running costs and demonstrate our commitment to energy conservation in design, such as passive solar power, double glazing and higher than minimum installation standards.
  • Meeting the needs of various tenant groups in terms of bedroom space, family living (for the larger family units), access, security and privacy.
  • For as many Dwell tenants as possible, while creating a quality environment where residents have a sense of ownership and belonging in the community.
  • Built compliant with the WCC District Plan and Multi-Unit Design Guide.
  • You can read the architects' design statement

The other information  

  • The homes will be for a diverse group of people – individuals and families who are in need of a home and who want to get on with their lives.
  • The area is designated as a Special Housing Area.This means that a resource consent from Wellington City Council (WCC) was required. They also determined the level of consultation that is necessary with any neighbour. Resource consent was granted for this design by Wellington City Council in December 2016.
  • Some of the capital funding was secured from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).
  • The homes will be for people who are on the Ministry of Social Development’s Social Housing Register.

For further information about this project please contact our People and Places Manager, Liz Kemp on 04 384 4854 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The background

On this land was previously the house which was referred to as Mahora House. Dwell was the owner and operator of Mahora House, Kilbirnie from 2013. This followed the merger of the former Wellington Housing Trust (WHT) and Mahora House Inc. (MHI) to establish Dwell Housing Trust.

MHI was an incorporated society dedicated to the provision of supported housing for mental health service users enabling them to live independently in and connected with the community. MHI purchased the property in 1989. Mahora House, which was 100 years old, was home to about 11 people at that time.

In 2016, Dwell’s Board made the necessary decision to start planning the redevelopment of the site, as the property no longer provided the quality of housing to which Dwell is committed.

The kaupapa of the former Mahora House Inc. will be at the heart of the redevelopment and provide the foundation on which we build the new homes:

  • Dedication to the provision of housing for a wide range of people including supported housing for mental health service users enabling them to live independently in and connected with the community.

This is our fourth new build and since 2009 we have built townhouses in Newtown, Berhampore and Brooklyn. We have also invested in houses in Lower Hutt.

Dwell has a track record of developing and building homes, and a community, where people can live well, be well, do well.

Your support

If you are interested in supporting Dwell’s work with this development, please see our support page or contact us as below.

About Dwell


Contact us

Dwell Housing Trust provides affordable, quality housing for people in need or on a low income. We are more than a landlord - we ensure our tenants have access to the support they need and want to live well, do well and be well.

We believe that affordable, stable and healthy housing is a fundamental right, and that appropriate housing has long-lasting benefits for the people living within those households and the wider community.

© Dwell Housing Trust 2016

    04 384 4854 /
0800 4 DWELL or 0800 439355
 PO Box 24-179, Manners Street
Wellington 6142, New Zealand
 Level 5, 173-175 Victoria Street
Wellington, New Zealand