Waiheke Community Trust members, MPs, and neighbours officially welcome the Onetangi affordable housing development’s tenants to their new home on Sunday.

The trust was formed in 2016, as many Waihekeans struggled to find an affordable place to live and some were forced to leave the island when they simply couldn’t. Trust chair Paul Carew says they set out to build a large house, divided into three units, where tenants would pay no more than 80 per cent of market rent. A four-bedroom home for a family downstairs, and two apartments for elderly or disabled tenants upstairs.

Trust members donated and loaned their own money, shared their skills and devoted countless volunteer hours to making it all happen. Paul says it was a long and challenging effort to sustain in the face of complex compliance rules, delays, a pandemic and costs that doubled over initial estimates.

“So, what has it all meant? There are now 10 people who have a secure home after enduring long periods of anxious housing insecurity. Over the 50-year design life of the building that may swell to 100 people.”

Paul says everyone involved should be proud of that achievement, but the Waiheke Road units are likely to be the trust’s last affordable housing development. • Paul Mitchell

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!


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