Whangarei Housing Trust set to take on accessible housing

Published: Fri 17 May 2013 10:48 AM
Whangarei Housing Trust set to take on accessible housing in Auckland
A “small but mighty” Northland housing trust is set to make a big impact in Auckland’s affordable and accessible housing stock with the Government’s announcement of a $2 million Social Housing Unit grant to the Whangarei Accessible Housing Trust.
The funds will provide a much needed boost to a new Auckland-based development that will build eight four bedroom fully accessible and affordable homes in the suburb of Papakura.
The trust will employ the same commitment to quality and vision of inclusiveness seen in the trust’s 12 award-winning Whangarei properties.
“These homes will be a far cry from ‘residential style’ properties, where units of modified properties are grouped together. Disabled people told us that we needed to create affordable, fully modified, quality homes in good neighbourhoods, so that’s our commitment,” says Vanassa McGoldrick, Whangarei Accessible Housing Trustee.
“Accessible housing is a huge issue for people with a disability in Auckland and it’s one that’s been put in the too hard basket for too long. We are thrilled that disabled people in Auckland will be able to benefit from the expertise of The Whangarei Housing Trust” says Auriole Ruka, Regional Manager for CCS Disability Action Northern Region who work in partnership with the trust.
The properties are part of a new subdivision that is close to public transport and the amenities that support people to live full and independent lives, another hallmark of the trust’s approach.
“We would like to acknowledge the support of the Social Housing Unit which, by supporting projects such as ours, demonstrates a commitment to developing strong, diverse communities where all people can be connected to their local community,” says Ms McGoldrick.
The trust decided to extend their reach into Auckland after growing concern over the current shortage of appropriate, accessible and affordable housing.
“As a region we see a huge lack of accessible rental properties, families disconnected from their family due to a lack of available social housing, young people living in rest homes and people living in conditions that are completely unsuitable and sometimes unsafe, explains Auriole Ruka, Regional Manager at CCS Disability Action and Whangarei Accessible Housing Trustee.
“While in the inflated Auckland housing market, $2 million may sound like a drop in the bucket, but for many of the people the trust has supported to date, it’s been truly life changing. Ultimately we remain clear that our work is not about numbers, it’s about people” says Ms Ruka.

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