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Trust House ramps up on rentals

Makoura College students enjoy a nutritious lunch delivered by Trust House’s Ka Ora, Ka Ako programme. PHOTO/FILE

Trust House is on track to deliver a dozen more homes next year, and its chief executive says housing will remain a major focus for the organisation.

Wairarapa’s largest community housing provider published its annual report last week, posting a net profit of $6.96 million.

Trust House chief executive Charles Kaka said the region suffered from a chronic shortage of affordable housing, but the organisation’s financial results meant it was well-positioned to deliver in the housing sector.

He said several projects were underway targeting Wairarapa’s elderly and disabled communities and said 12 new homes, housing up to 20 people, were due for completion by the end of the financial year.

“Our goal is to continue to increase the availability of affordable rental accommodation.

“One of our strategies is to better optimise our current sections through building cost-effective modular homes.

“There are two segments – one is for older people in social housing, similar to pensioner flats, and the other is families with disabled family members.”

He said it was difficult to retrofit older homes and had spoken to the government about better targeting those communities.

However, Kaka said the reality was that more needed to be done for vulnerable people and said Trust House hoped to work with other housing providers to increase supply in the region, such as Kainga Ora and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

He said the goal was to build 100 homes a year.

“We want to lock in a social housing development programme for the next five years.

“I think it’s unacceptable to have a longer time frame than that.

“If we ramped up in years two to three, the number of dwellings goes up relatively quickly, but it doesn’t matter what that number is for those without a home.”

Kaka said Trust House was also reinvesting in its existing housing stock, spending $1.3m on maintenance and refurbishment in the previous financial year.

He said just over 55 per cent of tenants received the income rent-related subsidy, however, he said there was potential to increase that number to 95 per cent over the next financial year.

Trust Houses’ grants, charitable donations and sponsorship stood at $4.5m for the previous year, nearly 40 per cent up on the year before, distributing $4.27m in community grants to 411 organisations.

Kaka said the foundation played an integral role in supporting the community, citing the successful school lunch programme.

“It’s a game-changer for kids and families that are struggling to have a nutritional lunch,” he said.

“The contract to provide lunches to schools in the region ends in December 2023.

“But we’re very keen to renew it and increase distribution as well.”

Helen Holt
Helen Holt
Helen Holt is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age and enjoys reporting on a variety of topics, regularly covering Wairarapa events, tourism, local businesses, and the occasional health story.

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