In November 2018 a group of concerned Malvern residents met to discuss social housing concerns that had grown out the experiences of the Malvern Community Hub organisers. These social housing concerns reflected the needs for emergency housing, affordable rental housing for elderly live-alones and fractured families, and a path to owning affordable homes.
One of the outcomes of this meeting was a commitment by eight people to set up a “Malvern Housing Trust”, that would work to
• help people who had emergency and affordable housing needs, and
• how to finance the work of a trust.
Another was the identification of land within Darfield township that might be suitable for a social housing or elderly housing development.
In addition, it was pointed out that SDC wants to release the operation of three units in North Terrace, Darfield to the administration of a social housing group that will provide ‘wrap-around care’. The group agreed that taking over the operation of these three units would be a useful goal.
Subsequent meetings resulted in the drafting of a Trust Deed and the incorporation of the Malvern Housing Trust. A meeting with Selwyn’s mayor, Sam Broughton, in January 2019 confirmed Council’s desire to divest itself of the three North Terrace houses, and gave us some useful next steps for our own planning.
One of our ongoing projects has been collecting hard data from retirees and near retirees to provide support for the generally accepted view that there is a growing need for affordable seniors’ housing, not just nationally, but specifically in Malvern. The Malvern Housing Trust is well aware that SDC does not see itself as a provider or funder of social housing in Selwyn, and that the Council’s policy is facilitate and enable groups that are keen to work in the social housing sector.
The importance of our work is difficult to quantify, but we believe it is important because it will provide housing and support for people who are local residents and want to stay as long as they can in the communities where they have lived and worked. Your support for our work will show that their housing needs and their welfare are important to you.