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  • Writer's pictureMegan Salole

"$650 for a three bedroom... is insane"

"When is $650 per week affordable housing ? Thought the trust was supposed to help people stay in Paekakariki..."

That was a response to our post on Facebook about the new rental property that the Trust has just added to our our books.

We agree. Our village is paying too much for housing. So are many other places. This is the current market rate, and it's too high for many families. So why have we opted to manage this property? How does this help the current housing crisis?

We took our time making the decision to include this one in our portfolio. We have been proud to say up until this point that all our rentals are below market rent. Of the 7 rental properties the housing trust manages, all the others are below market rental.

But through the work of the trust and neighbours, this house has been taken off AirBnB and is increasing the local rental housing stock. It is a better long term outcome for our village if a family or other household lives there and is connected to the community.

In the process of maintaining the property, the Trust has committed to using local tradespeople as much as is possible, to keep our local economy buoyant. The Trust also gets a modest income from the management of the properties. We operate a 'not for business' and so all the profit generated is reinvested into strengthening alternative models for housing that can keep rentals affordable and available.

If all the rentals in the village switched their property management to us, that would help us grow our asset base, putting us in a better position to help.

So that is why we have opted to take on the management of properties that are at a market rate. If you would like to support the trust to grow, and your landlord has a property management company involved in managing your home then perhaps you could suggest they switch over to us, for a Win, Win, Win.

Update: Some have questioned whether our approach is reinforcing and perpetuating the current inequities in the market. Our rationale is that we have got a house into the housing supply and we think that is a win worth acknowledging. We are sitting with this as a non-ideal solution, but we are choosing to be pragmatic if we want to get a serious wedge into the problem. Someone is making money off maintaining the rentals in our village, but they are just paying out profit to shareholders. We reinvest profits back into our operation so that we can grow our influence. While we are small, we can't impact the market, but as we grow we will have more klout and this will position us to make a difference. We want to be a loud voice in this space to champion equity and a new vision for housing.

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