The Housing Crisis and KCDC: have your say

The Paekākāriki Housing Trust needs your help to ensure Council has the tools to make a difference to the housing crisis. Tina Pope suggests a solution and urges you to fill in the council’s affordable housing survey. You have until 5pm on Friday 8 July to have your say.

Village of miniature wooden buildings. Image: Megan Salole

The Paekākāriki Housing Trust is delighted to see that the Kāpiti Coast District Council (KCDC) has adopted the Housing Strategy 2022. They are now considering whether to set up an independent community land trust (CLT) to help deliver affordable housing on the Kāpiti Coast – something we strongly support.  KCDC are consulting now and the opportunity to have your say closes 5pm Friday 8 July.

We believe a good community is no accident and we need your support on this one.  We’d appreciate as many people as possible to respond to the survey in support of KCDC taking a strong role in addressing the housing crisis and of them setting up a community land trust.  There will likely be some loud voices in opposition to this and if large numbers of people don’t express their support, it may not happen. So please do take the time to complete the survey – it only takes 10 minutes.  If you need a hard copy, let us know and we’ll drop you one or you can grab one from the library.

The recent housing needs assessment undertaken by council shows we have urgent housing needs in Paekākāriki and on the coast.  Here in Paekākāriki, we have a lack of housing for mana whenua, very few appropriate housing options for older locals when they can no longer live in their family homes, and a huge affordability problem.  The sea is encroaching and in the future we’ll need alternatives for those in the front line.  The Housing Trust has no capital and a CLT will give us opportunities to address housing needs that don’t exist for us now, particularly with the opportunities Wainuiwhenua might bring. 

The CLT would be an independent, not-for-profit organisation governed by a board of trustees made up of iwi, community members and professional representatives. Its purpose is to provide permanent affordable housing opportunities for families and communities. It would be able to hold land, transferred to it by Council or acquired on its own, for the purpose of delivering affordable or social housing. The CLT can use this land to create affordable housing solutions in partnership with community housing providers and other organisations, who then develop houses on the land. It would be able to access a wider range of funding sources in partnership with community housing providers.

In its response to the survey, the Paekākāriki Housing Trust will be asking that KCDC ensures this is done in partnership with mana whenua – not ‘consulting’ them after decisions have been made. It needs to be sustainable – both in terms of its funding and its outcomes for the environment and communities.  The CLT needs to have enough flexibility to adjust to needs as they change and to opportunities as they arise. The CLT needs to be structured to enable it to offer a wider range of housing services and tenure models, such as affordable rentals, rent-t- own and leasehold options. 

We also want to see KCDC employing other tools, such as new developments being required to have a percentage of affordable housing or an equivalent amount be paid to the CLT, to ensure affordable housing is part of all developments. We want to see good urban design, not more streets and streets of large houses with double garages and requiring people to use cars to get to work, shops, school, services, play and social connection. We’d also like to see the current social housing stock included – why exclude our elderly residents from the benefits of income-related rent support?

This is another opportunity for us all to ensure councillors understand that housing is a human right, urban design needs to address the climate crisis, community connections and affordability, and council has an important part to play.

Check out the Paekākāriki Housing Trust’s website and contact us if you need our support, have ideas or want to get involved.

Paekākā is a community-built, funded and run website. All funds go to weekly running costs, with huge amounts of professional work donated behind the scenes.  If you can help financially, at a time when many supporting local businesses are hurting, we have launched a donation gateway.