Sometime during the first week of August all owners of property in the Raglan ward will receive a copy of the first Raglan housing survey from the Raglan Community House special housing project group WRAP (Whaingaroa Raglan (Housing) Affordability Project).
Fiona McNabb, the WRAP Project Lead, says “The Waikato District Council is supporting the project by printing and distributing the survey to all rateable properties in their database within the Raglan ward.”
Where properties are rented, the mail-out will be addressed to the landlord, so to ensure everyone has access to the survey, WRAP have funded insertion of the survey with every copy of the Chronicle for four weeks starting on the week of August 6.The survey has been developed with input from many people within the working group, including volunteers who have reviewed and shared their input and researchers from Waikato University who are experts in survey design.
WRAP received initial funding from WEL Energy Trust to conduct research into the impact of the rising cost of housing and rent alongside the reduction of our rental housing stock over the past few years. While some data is available from the census, current data is from 2013 and the latest data won’t be available until after March 2019. However, none of this data helps us understand the level of stress caused by the cost of housing or issues with finding a place to rent, nor the impacts of a future where access to home ownership in Raglan looks like an unlikely prospect for many.
The surveys will be able to be dropped off in secure drop-boxes around town until the closing date of September 22. The sealed boxes will then be sent directly to a data input team at Waikato University. The data will be organized into a report by Professor Chris Ryan of the Management School and then shared back to the community via the WRAP group.No individual will be able to be identified from the data so personal privacy will be preserved and the original forms will be destroyed once the data input is completed.
The WRAP team are planning to host a forum near the end of October to share some of the results and open up a community conversation about housing, what other communities are doing to address the same types of problems we face and how we might begin to design some solutions.
Mike Rarere from the Raglan Community House who is also on the WRAP steering group says, “This survey is the first real opportunity we have had to truly understand the depth of the problem that we see every day with some of our visitors to the centre. It is crucial that we get a really good response to this survey whether you have a housing issue or not so that we can understand exactly what sectors of our community are affected.”