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The Raglan Community House establishes a new housing research group

There is no denying that there has been a shift in both housing affordability and availability in Whaingaroa Raglan. With a sudden rise in housing prices and a drastic decline in available rental properties, The Raglan Community House feels that affordable housing is a community issue that needs urgent attention.

After hearing consistent concerns in regards to the ever-growing housing issues in our area, Mike Rarere, Raglan Community House Manager, sat down with a few key local organisations to find a new way to address the housing shortage in Whaingaroa.

“The availability of affordable housing is one of the major issues facing our community,” says Mike, who interacts with residents on a daily basis at the Community House.

“We see whānau having to move away from Whaingaroa Raglan because their rental accommodation is no longer available and the lack of and cost of the remaining rentals is beyond their means. Collaborating with other groups to address this issue bodes well for the success of this project for the benefit of our wider Community.”

Working alongside members of the Raglan Community Board and the Raglan Chamber of Commerce, The Raglan Community House established the Whaingaroa Raglan Affordable (Housing) Project in November 2017, more aptly known as WRAP.

Since its inception, members of the WRAP steering committee have been meeting together to further understand the housing concerns of the community across all aspects.

At the end of January 2018, WRAP submitted an application for a WEL Energy Vital Impact Grant on behalf of The Raglan Community House. This specific grant round was targeted for organisations, projects or initiatives that addressed issues around the affordability, availability and quality of housing.

The application was successful and The Raglan Community House received $40,000 for WRAP. This funding will allow WRAP to conduct in-depth research and data collection which will assist the team in creating a solution that will be specific to the Whaingaroa Raglan community.

Although there is a severe housing crisis in communities around the world, WRAP aims to create a housing model that will provide an affordable pathway for members of the Whaingaroa Raglan community to enter the local housing market as owner occupiers, or as tenants of a secure long-term affordable rental accommodation.

In the coming months, WRAP will begin the necessary data collection that will create the groundwork for this new housing model. The project is being led by Fiona McNabb, who is passionate about the role affordability of housing plays in retaining the social diversity of unique communities like Raglan.

“I believe Raglan has the energy and creativity to work together and build solutions that fit our specific needs,” states Fiona.

“WEL Energy’s generosity has allowed us to enter phase one of the project so watch this space for more ways that you can get involved, tell your stories and help.”

Karamea Puriri

If you would like to find out more about WRAP, contact the The Raglan Community House at info@theraglanhouse.co.nz.