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Council to set up Affordable Housing Trust

29 Feb 2024, 12:50 PM

Kāpiti Coast District Council is to set up an independent charitable trust to develop and run additional affordable housing options in the district.

Mayor Janet Holborow said councillors today unanimously approved the details of a Kāpiti Coast Affordable Housing Trust, modelled on similar entities in Queenstown, Wellington, and Christchurch, that can work with Council, iwi, and other organisations to deliver affordable housing to those in need.

“It’s well known that Kāpiti is facing significant and growing housing access and affordability issues that need to be addressed urgently,” Mayor Holborow said.

“Council has been investigating ways to support the provision of increased affordable housing without adding further demands on our ratepayers to subsidise housing, so this is a great step forward in meeting the aims of our 2022 housing strategy,” she said.

“Housing is a basic human right, and the provision of affordable, warm, safe housing is fundamental to the wellbeing of our whole community, so we’re excited at the possibilities this new Trust opens up for housing in our district.

“An independent charitable trust provides an opportunity to access a range of different funding streams for developing well-designed and varied housing options. Its focus will be on benefiting people in our district who qualify for affordable housing, or any other similar housing, due to their financial position and income,” Mayor Holborow said.

“Council is continuing to do more in this space but providing adequate housing is a complex issue and should not be solely the responsibility of one organisation or sector. Council has to be part of a community approach to finding solutions to the housing crisis. Setting up an independent trust with trustees with the right expertise and a focus on Kāpiti is one way we can do this,” she said.

The standard definition of ‘affordable’ housing is that costs (rent or mortgage) amount to no more than 30% of the household’s income. 

“The next step is to find suitable trustees. These roles will be advertised and appointed with the help of an independent specialist recruiter with experience in the requirements of such a Trust,” Mayor Holborow said.

The Council has decided the trust should have five trustees, including one appointed by Council, one appointed by Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti, and three independent trustees. It will have the ability to add two more independent trustees if and when the Trust’s activities require it. Council would support the initial set up costs with the intention of the Trust eventually becoming self-funded through revenue from its housing activities.

Council’s decision to set up the Trust had the support of the sector, which welcomed further progress on affordable housing options in Kāpiti, Mayor Holborow said.

Read more about Council’s role in housing at kapiticoast.govt.nz/housing