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Hope builds amid housing crisis

An aerial shot of Masterton. PHOTO/FILE

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Toni Kennerley, PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Trust House is hoping to mend the social housing crisis in the Wairarapa, appointing a new independent director, Tori Kennerley.

With 105 people waitlisted for housing through Trust House, it is looking for solutions to meet the large social housing demand.

“Kainga Ora [Homes and Communities] has no houses here in Wairarapa, there is potential to form a partnership with them to meet housing demand,” Kennerley said.

“Most of our houses have been in our portfolio for around 65 years, some might need redevelopment.”

Kennerley said aspects such as “making sure there are enough houses with disabled access; and those with the right number of bedrooms to match demand” are an important part in beginning to solve the housing issue in the area.

Trust House manages almost 500 social or affordable houses throughout the Wairarapa and Tararaua districts.

National demand for social housing increased substantially, with 2211 families waitlisted across New Zealand from March to June this year.

Kennerley thought Trust House was strong in the sense that it was “community looking after community” whereas “other districts don’t have that”.

With Trust House being part of the community, Kennerley sees it as “understanding the community and their needs better”.

This ranges from the number of bedrooms a family may need, to disability access.

Kennerley is the owner of Planalytics NZ Ltd, a research and consultancy firm based in Greytown.

She has lived in Wairarapa for five years, initially in Greytown and now in Carterton, and has a good sense of the community she serves.

Kennerley is experienced in the housing sector in New Zealand, working with Kainga Ora through her firm, looking at the redevelopment potential of state-owned properties across the Wellington and Manawatu regions.

Looking to the next few years she said, “we are coming into a big time of change and development”.

Kennerley holds a Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning and a master’s degree in development and emergency Practice, so is well equipped to tackle the housing crisis in Wairarapa head on.

Trust House chairman Jock Kershaw described Kennerley as a polished professional who would “add much value to the organisation, particularly the housing sector”.

Trust House does not provide transitional or emergency housing through the Ministry of Social Development, only longer-term social housing, which applicants come directly to them for.

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