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Company trusted to keep out the cold

Craig Thomson outside one of the 350 Masterton homes managed by the Trust.

By Geoff Vause
[email protected]
Horowhenua and Kapiti tenants may soon benefit from the expertise of a proven Wairarapa community housing company.
The not-for-profit Trust House Ltd already has around 480 houses, including 350 in Masterton, and is keen to gain control of another 364 state and council houses the government is unloading at Horowhenua and Kapiti.
Trust House building and infrastructure boss Craig Thomson said the organisation had earned a reputation for improving homes it took over, protecting existing tenants from the cold in more ways than one.
“The whole point is keeping tenants in place and being a better social housing landlord,” Mr Thomson said.
“Ministry of Social Development (MSD) gives us lists of potential tenants at threat of homelessness, or in overcrowded situations. We work with them and MSD to enable income-related rent subsidies.”
Mr Thomson said Trust House had spent more than $20 million on its current housing stock on heat pumps and concrete driveways and more.
Trust House chief executive Alan Pollard has confirmed the organisation was interested in the Horowhenua and Kapiti houses at the right price, and would consider setting up an office at Levin to manage them.
Recent social housing policy reforms meant subsidies to improve and develop social housing was no longer available to district councils which could be uplifted only by registered community housing providers such as Trust House.
These providers could also offer wrap-around social services such as health care, social services, meals, outings and specialist support for elderly tenants.
In May last year, Social Housing minister Paula Bennett said Wairarapa houses managed by Trust House were in better condition than when the government had them.

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