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auranga Community Housing Trust Welcomes Funding Boost



22 MAY 2013

Tauranga Community Housing Trust Welcomes Funding Boost for Affordable Housing in Tauranga

Tauranga Community Housing Trust (TCHT) today welcomed a $1.7 million Government grant to boost the level of affordable housing in Tauranga.

The Government’s Social Housing Trust (SHU), which aims to increase the amount of social and affordable housing in New Zealand, has allocated the grant..

The Trust is to modify the eight existing one-bedroom units in Clarke Street to ensure they are suitable for people with restricted mobility. TCHT then aims to relocate the units to a suitable site in the western Bay of Plenty so they can continue to be available for community housing.

The Clarke St site will then be re-developed into a medium density age-friendly village of 14 one and two bedroomed units. At least 50 per cent of the homes will incorporate universal design features including being fully wheelchair accessible. They will also meet Housing New Zealand Corporation (HNZC) design standards and be accredited with Lifetime Design’s ‘Life Mark Standards’.

Kate Cosgriff, chair of the TCHT, said the SHU grant was vital to improving housing affordability in Tauranga.

“This is great news for Tauranga, particularly given the housing affordability issues in the city and we wish to acknowledge the support of the Social Housing Unit.

“There is a significant under-supply of affordable smaller homes such as one and two bedroom dwellings and a high demand for such rental accommodation. This medium density development will be well-designed, provide stability and security for our tenants and will be priced affordably.”

The project is also a good example of collaboration between organisations including a community housing provider, local funders such as the Police Charity Auction, TECT, Bay Trust, commercial partners like Kiwibank and BECA, community groups, central government and Tauranga City Council, she said.

Chris Johnstone, manager of the TCHT, said: “TCHT was established in response to a growing concern that disabled people, individuals and families were increasingly unable to access appropriate, affordable housing. This grant will be crucial in helping us ensure more housing needs are met.

“There is a lack of appropriate rental housing, particularly at the lower end of the market, a poor supply of accessible housing, a general shortage of social housing in the Tauranga area and high demand for HNZC housing.”

There is a general decline in homeownership, said Ms Johnstone. Tauranga is one of the least affordable areas for buying a property in New Zealand, with the average house price being 6.6 times higher than the household’s annual income.

The Trust works with diverse groups and all sectors to improve access to quality, sustainable housing and provides a Housing Facilitation Service that develops housing solutions for individuals and families. It also advocates for and implements new housing models to meet current and future community needs.

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