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Nelson Tasman Housing Trust marks a milestone

Nelson Tasman Housing Trust marks a major milestone

The Nelson Tasman Housing Trust marks a major milestone on Wednesday (May 31) when the Minister for Housing, Chris Carter, will snip the ribbon at the trust's Kawai St low-cost housing development.

The Nelson Tasman Housing Trust was formed in 2004 to address housing needs for low-income families in Nelson. Trust Chair Kindra Douglas says opening the first Œflagship' development is a big achievement after two years groundwork in setting up as a community housing provider.

"There is significant hidden homelessness' in Nelson with families doubling up or using garages as bedrooms," she said. "The Housing Trust offers Œnot for profit' housing as a third option to the state sector, which can't take everyone on its waiting list, and the private sector, which is often too expensive for low income families."

Ms Douglas said community housing was common in Europe and the UK and was now developing along the same lines in New Zealand, with a shift in emphasis to communities deciding on the best models and means of housing for lower income families. She said rather than the ghetto-like state house blocks of the 50s and 60s, the Nelson Tasman Housing Trust would be building or buying homes that would be integrated in their neighbourhoods.

"The Kawai Street development is two duplexes with garages separating them on a lovely big section," she said. "It offers healthy energy-efficient housing, privacy and security. We're charging 80% of market rental, which families can sustain without the insecurity of moving house to try and save money on rent. For some of our families this means an extra $100 a week that's not going on rent."

The trust has recently bought a three-bedroom home in Victory and has plans for one more three bedroom home in the near future. This will complete their first development in Nelson.

As part of the official opening at the Kawai Street development there will be an open home to showcase the range of energy efficiencies that will make the house cheaper to heat and more comfortable to live in.


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