Being a landlord is not always easy – you have a property to maintain, rent payments to chase up, and the challenge of finding a suitable tenant to begin with. What if there were a way to enjoy a stress-free tenancy and contribute to social change in our country?
With VisionWest as part of the Housing First initiative in West Auckland, this dream tenancy is now a reality. One which no other agency outside of the Housing First collective offers.
When I spoke to Stephen Brown and Mark Woolley about Housing First, their offer to landlords sounded too good to be true. Landlords who rent their properties to VisionWest pay no tenancy management fee and are guaranteed rent payments every week, regardless of whether or not a subtenant is living in the house.
VisionWest performs all the nitty-gritty tasks involved with renting out a house, from conducting regular inspections to tenant damage (beyond normal wear and tear) repaired at no cost to the landlord. In addition, once the initial methamphetamine baseline test is completed by the landlord, VisionWest will then cover the costs of decontamination, should contamination rise above national standard levels of 1.5.
As well as providing safety nets for all the potential structural and financial issues which may arise, VisionWest has Support Navigators (Social Workers) working with families every week to ensure successful long term housing.
Not only does Housing First benefit landlords, it also benefits communities. Stable housing has a positive impact on education and health, which is why VisionWest only rents healthy homes. Children living in a stable home experience fewer disruptions to their education, and a sense of humanity is restored to their families.
While VisionWest pays market rent to the landlords, the subtenants pay an income related rent. With families in affordable housing and children in a stable schooling situation, Housing First is able to break the poverty cycle which many families find themselves trapped in.
When families are provided with good homes, the wider community can see the difference. A healthy, stable home means less people in hospital, fewer people living on the streets, and the promise of a better future for their children.
All VisionWest needs are more landlords who will rent properties to them, landlords who can make a world of difference in the lives of families in need. If Housing First succeeds in Auckland, it could be carried across the country and change lives for the better nationwide.
“It’s transformative,” comments Mark, and I have to agree. This new system of housing is a win-win for both landlords and communities, and has already proven successful overseas. Housing is a necessity, not a privilege, and VisionWest gives landlords the means to take part in transforming New Zealand communities.
This is, undoubtedly, a landlord’s dream; it is the deal of a lifetime.