Monday, May 16, 2022

Golden Bay initiative helps Tākaka pensioners into affordable housing


The opening of two pensioner flats in Tākaka this week has provided warm secure accommodation for two tenants, and shows the potential of partnerships between Council and private groups for addressing the housing crisis.

The newly-built cottages on Commercial Street are the result of a partnership between Tasman District Council and the Mohua Affordable Housing Trust and were officially opened on Friday April 22.

The houses are situated on previously unused Council-owned land behind the existing Galley Court flats. They were financed by the Trust who will own and maintain them for 35 years, after which ownership will be transferred to the Council to be added to the Council’s housing stock, which currently includes 101 pensioner cottages. The Council will select and manage the tenants.

The two bedroom 60-square metre houses were constructed by local Golden Bay builders, using local suppliers.

The homes meet the current building code and Healthy Homes standard, with external ramps for access, doors wide enough for wheelchairs and bathrooms especially designed for accessibility. They are equipped with brand new appliances and heat pumps.

Given the growing demand for accommodation in Golden Bay, the partnership between the Council and the Trust provided “a win-win situation for everyone” noted Trust Chair Dr. Christopher Bennett.

“Tasman District Council now has two high quality houses which has cost their ratepayers nothing to build and we get to 

help reduce the need for pensioner housing in Golden Bay.”

“Everyone in our team is grateful to help the people in our local community. There is a huge unmet need for affordable housing, and we have managed to help four families since starting our construction program ten months ago”.

Tasman Mayor Tim King said the opening of the new cottages was testament to a great initiative to support affordable accommodation in the district.

“We recognise that meeting housing demand throughout the country is no small undertaking and is something that will require a concerted effort from a number of organisations, including council – the work that the Trust and their financial backers are doing here in Golden Bay highlights what can be done with the opportunities available under current rules/legislation and they should be applauded.”

Golden Bay ward councillors Chris Hill and Celia Butler also acknowledged the “truly significant contribution” that the Trust was making to the Mohua/Golden Bay community in providing housing where it is needed.

“The vision to come up with a solution to the housing issues here has been inspiring, as has the ability to bring it to fruition effectively. Chris’s ability to work collaboratively with a range of other organisations has been impressive,” Chris said.

“I note that people from other areas have an eye on what’s happening here with a view to rolling out something similar for those that are struggling to find homes.”

Celia said it had been the case for some time that there has been a shortage of housing for older people in Golden Bay.

“Being so close to the town centre will provide many benefits. It is great to see the Golden Bay/Mohua Affordable Housing Project and Tasman District Council working in partnership to provide these two new dwellings on Council-owned land.”

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