Parish housing trust born in midst of housing crisis

St Joseph's parish

Born in the midst of a housing crisis, the St Joseph’s Parish Environment Justice and Peace Group founded The Upper Hutt Housing Trust.

Starting with only $10 in the bank, the transformed Housing Trust now manages 31 rental spaces, housing 110 individuals across 41 households.

It also owns its first property.

Emboldened by their mission, the Trust rented a property privately and subleased it to a tenant in need, all with the owner’s knowledge.

The success of the Trust is attributed to high-quality tenancy management, an efficient maintenance team, cost-effective operations and a dedicated volunteer board, all committed to the belief that housing is a basic human right, reports NZ Catholic.

“The Trust offers a financial and emotional cushion for tenants during difficult times, preventing them from falling back into homelessness,” a Trust spokesperson told NZ Catholic.

According to NZ Catholic, the Trust excels at transitioning people from temporary to permanent housing while minimising the financial burden for its tenants, who typically struggle with low incomes and historical debt.

With its well-established reputation, the Trust has garnered more opportunities to manage rental properties and has secured a contract with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, providing transitional housing and enabling it to hire staff to manage the properties.

While the Upper Hutt Housing Trust’s approach centres on the principle of ‘housing first’ followed by continued support services to maintain secure, affordable and sustainable housing, it now also assists its tenants with job opportunities and work experiences.

As part of a comprehensive range of wrap-around services, the Trust offers and encourages independence and assists tenants with job opportunities, work experiences and chances to move into paid work.

As the Trust continues to provide housing services successfully, it aims to become a community housing provider and is considering managing a seven-day emergency shelter for the most vulnerable.

Trust membership has also expanded to include neighbouring Catholic and other Christian parishes and groups, and currently includes:

In addition, other organisations in Upper Hutt give the Upper Hutt Housing Trust tremendous support through their active involvement in its work and housing issues:


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