17 new homes = 17 whānau housed!
17 new homes means 17 whānau who have been struggling to find a place to live will now have a warm, dry and safe home. At dawn on Wednesday May 19th, between the showers, Visionwest opened our latest housing complex with a blessing led by our Pou Whakarae (Head of Māori Development), Fred Astle.
Comprised of 17 two-bedroom units, the Blockhouse Bay complex has five units designed and furnished specifically for whānau with physical disabilities. The units will go to people who are currently struggling with finding permanent housing – many of whom have a history of homelessness and so, for them, this is a giant step towards stability and security in their lives.
We have read much lately about the current housing crisis in Aotearoa where about 1% of New Zealanders are homeless. That makes our homelessness rate the highest among the 35 high-income countries in the OECD (*The Borgen Project – September 2020). In March 2018, home ownership was at its lowest in almost 70 years. Since then, the median house price has almost doubled, and renters have faced increases of up to 25%. All in a housing market where it is getting more difficult to find a home.
With that as a background, it’s great to have this good news. Built by Kāinga Ora, the Blockhouse Bay units are to be managed by Visionwest Community Housing and will include an onsite Community Coordinator to help our whānau adapt to and settle into their new community.
The first five families moved in on Thursday May 20th with the rest to join them in the next week or two.