Wairoa’s Housing Hub supported through government funding


Navigating Wairoa’s housing needs and pathways, from new builds to home ownership, has received a Central Government funding boost.

Wairoa’s innovative application to develop a localised Housing Hub has attracted nearly one million dollars to be spent on enhancing the district’s housing options over the next three years.

The hub is the creation of the local housing coalition group and received resourcing of $977,500 from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development’s Local Innovation and Partnership Fund.   

The aim of the hub is to support people to work with local whānau and the community to help them navigate the housing continuum.

The outcomes include navigating and transforming Wairoa’s housing space by helping whānau become high performing tenants and landlords; assisting whānau into home ownership and providing information around pāpakainga housing.

Once appointed, housing hub staff will collect information on what is needed to help Wairoa homes meet the Healthy Homes Standards, and what can be done now to improve the state of the homes in the district.

The hub will be staffed through the housing strategy co-ordinator position, held by Melissa Kaimoana, which has been extended for three years, and also by navigators who will take on a mentoring role working with whānau.

Shelley Smith, Chief Executive of Enabled, and speaking on behalf of the coalition, said the funding will transform Wairoa’s current housing situation. Enabled played a big part in writing the application based on the collective knowledge of the coalition. “We are all aware we need change, and the application was based around meeting the unique housing needs of our community.

“No one anticipated so many people would return and move to Wairoa, and we are seeing, like many other parts of the country, housing demand outstripping supply.

“The hub is not just about building houses. It is a holistic approach around empowering people and growing capability from the rental industry to home ownership. By looking at how we can improve our current homes or develop homes on the whenua, like through pāpakainga, we are casting a wide net to meet the growing demand.”

The original housing strategy group was set up over a year ago in direct response to Wairoa’s housing needs. The group has grown to become recognised as a coalition and comprises of local partners; Wairoa Taiwhenua, Wairoa District Council, Wairoa Young Achievers Trust, Tātau Tātau o te Wairoa, Te Whare Maire o Tapuwae, Wairoa Waikaremoana Māori Trust Board, Kahungunu Executive and Enabled.

The housing coalition identified Wairoa is short of around 150 homes now, but with the expected population growth, could have a shortage of around 500 homes over the next 10 years.

Ms Smith said the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development’s Local Innovation and Partnership Fund was a pool of $6 million and received 38 applications. “The fact Wairoa received such a significant amount of funding reflects the calibre of the Wairoa approach and application.

“Wairoa has had limited housing development in recent decades so it is important that moving forward we make the right decisions so whānau housing can be future-proofed and the Housing Hub will help keep that trajectory on track.”

Wairoa has a number of housing developments planned.

The Tātau Tātau o te Wairoa development in Kitchener Street, Te Rauā, has been granted resource consent and will see the building of up to 56 housing units, including 30 whānau housing units (two to five bedrooms) all on separate lots. At the heart of the development will be Tokotoko Pakeke Village which will feature one- and two-bedroom independent living units, for kaumātua singles and couples, and 12 studio units plus a flat within a supported living complex – all grouped around a shared open space area.

An additional subdivision, Tihitihi Pā, that has potential for 38 lots of mixed housing, is planned to sit between Kitchener and McLean Streets. The development is Spearheaded by Enabled Wairoa and Whakamanamana Limited.

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Toitū He Kāinga Wairoa Housing Hub will be administered by Enabled and guided by the governance of the Wairoa Housing Coalition, the Hub will align

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