The VisionWest Trust’s housing scheme began when the people of Glen Eden Baptist noticed a community
need for emergency housing. This prompted the Trust to rent a few homes for short-term accommodation.
Several years later, the housing initiative has evolved to provide longer team housing. “We now have over 30 houses,” explains James Widgery, who oversees the project. “Some of those are owned by the church, while the others are leased from Housing New Zealand. The aim is to provide people with stable housing. Many New Zealanders are quite transient simply because they rely on rental accommodation. This affects their ability to find stable employment, and for children to establish themselves in any one school."
“By providing low-income families with a stable home, we’re able to surround them with the other support services offered by the Vision West Trust. This wrap-around support includes budgeting, counselling, a foodbank, school uniform bank, and the community care services of VisionWest Community Trust. We’re also able to assign them a mentor to watch over them and guide them. It’s all about helping people become integrated in one community and enabling a stability to their family life.”
In a unique side to the project, VisionWest Community Trust’s latest Community Housing Development was a collaboration with Strachan Group Architects (SGA) and UNITEC. The third year architecture students at UNITEC both designed and built the four bedroom and two bedroom houses, under the supervision of SGA. The design also involved input from existing tenants, for affordable and sustainable housing that would not only be great to live in but cost effective to run in terms of energy usage.
Auckland City Mayor, Len Brown, said of the VisionWest Housing Development, “I have repeatedly said that the solutions to Auckland’s housing challenges lie in collaborations like these which will provide more housing options for Aucklanders. VisionWest has forged an exciting partnership… …and most importantly, it gives more Auckland families the chance to live in warm, healthy and sustainable housing.”
If you would like to find out more about this local mission project, please contact [email protected]