New homes and new skills are the result of a positive partnership between Housing New Zealand and the Department of Corrections in the Waikato.
The Spring Hill refurbishment programme , which has been running for nine years, sees supervised prisoners taking up a trade to help restore and rebuild older houses and transforming them into modern, warm, dry healthy homes for state housing tenants and their families.
Each year, more than 60 prisoners get a chance to learn and develop new skills they can take with them when they are released back into the community.
Carpentry is the main trade selected but others like interior lining, gib stopping, painting and plumbing are also available.
Corrections works with the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) who come to the prison construction yard and assess prisoners on their trade skills which can give them qualifications that will help them find work when they are released.
The programme aims to deliver 10 restored homes each financial year. This year to date, five houses have been placed on their new sites with a further three to be located on new sites in March. A further two completed properties will be moved onto their new sites before the end of the financial year on June 30, 2019.