Proposed rent increases for Trust House tenants put on hold

Trust House rent increases will be put on hold while a review of the Trust’s Housing Improvement Programme is carried out.

Trust House Board Chief Executive Charles Kaka says the decision has been made after receiving feedback about the proposed rent increases from tenants and the community.

“Our intention was to bring rents in line with market rentals as part of a plan to invest $50m in improving the quality of our existing housing and building new housing in the Wairarapa.

We have been working with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Kainga Ora and the Ministry of Social Development for the past year to ensure that if our rents were aligned with market rentals, any government support our tenants were entitled to, would be available to them.

Two weeks ago, we communicated to 189 of our 489 tenants our intention to increase their rent to align with market rentals and issued 60-day notices of our intention.

At the time we were confident that these tenants would qualify for an Income Related Rent subsidy and we now understand this may not be the case. This uncertainty has caused stress to them and we are very sorry for this.

It was not our intention, and we are now going to put any rent increases on hold while we review our plans including how we assess our housing for market rentals.

It will also include working with government agencies to ensure our tenants are receiving all their entitlements and subsidy support for their housing needs.

We want to reassure our tenants that we will take some time to review and refine our Housing Improvement Programme given we now have this new information.

Our next step will be to hand deliver letters to the affected tenants to let them know that we are rescinding the 60-day notices. We will also be talking to our tenants once we have completed the review and have a plan for moving forward.

This will include talking about how we can improve the quality of our housing and build new housing while ensuring our tenants are not disadvantaged and are well supported.

Trust House is committed to improving the quality of our housing and building new housing to meet the needs of the Wairarapa community.

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