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New community housing for Stoke

New community housing for Stoke

The Nelson Tasman Housing Trust (NTHT) has the go-ahead for for six new housing units on a former state housing site in Orchard St, Stoke.

The site has been vacant since 2014, but NTHT Chair David Johnston says with resource consent now granted, construction will soon be underway, with completion due in April 2017.

“There are three single storey brick units in the development, each containing two apartments,” he said. “They’ll be ideal for single people or small families and will help in a small way to meet the huge need for affordable housiung in Nelson.”

NTHT is a registered Community Housing Provider, offering rental homes at 70-80 percent of market rates. Director, Carrie Mozena says they get two to four enquiries every week, some of them from people whose need is quite desperate.

“We currently have 38 homes, housing 114 people and can usually offer only about six opportunities a year to new tenants, so the Orchard Street development is very significant for us,” she said. “These flats will be a real step up for most of the new tenants - they are affordable, fully insulated, double glazed, fitted out with heat pumps and each unit has a garden for indoor-outdoor living.”

NTHT acquires underutilised land for redevelopment, in this case buying the land from Housing NZ, after the demolition of some tired and earthquake-prone housing stock.

David Johnston says the trust then works with local and central Government and other grants organisations to fund the build.

“We organise 50 percent of the capital cost and can fund the balance by mortgage, which is repaid using rental income,” he said. “We are constrained by money and it’s more difficult since government withdrew a specific fund for community housing. But we have proven that if we can get half the overall cost we can deliver a sustainable residence at an affordable rent.”

NTHT also coordinates emergency housing in Nelson, and runs an insulation retrofit programme called Warmer Healthier Homes.

The Trust has three part-time, experienced staff, supported by eight voluntary Trustees.

“We’re looking for at least one more trustee to help with this really rewarding community service,” Johnston said. “We need someone with good local connections and a clear understanding of the governance role. We’d love to hear from anyone who is interested – especially women as we could do with improving our gender balance.”


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