Frequently Asked Questions

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Who are the GBMAHP?

The 'Golden Bay/Mohua Affordable Housing Project' is the trading name for the Mohua Affordable Housing Trust (MAHT).

 

To avoid confusion ...

There are three groups currently underaking housing initiatives in Golden Bay:

  • Golden Bay/Mohua Affordable Housing Project (us): Our mission is to provide Golden Bay/Mohua with quality affordable housing to rent or own. We will build houses throughout Golden Bay.
  • The Golden Bay Housing Trust -  He Whare Noho ki Mohua: Established in 2005, they have houses in Takaka where working families can save for a deposit to purchase a home.
  • Takaka Cohousing Neighbourhood Project: This is a 33 home cohousing development in Takaka.

 

Is this really happening?

Yes. The Golden Bay/Mohua Affordable Housing Project (GBMAHP) team has been working closely with Tasman District Council who are providing excellent advice and guidance. We have been offered 30 potential sites for building houses. Our program is below, with funding currently secured for the first five builds:

  • House #1--Rockville: Completed December 2021
  • House #2--Hamama: Completed December 2021
  • Houses #3 and #4--Takaka: Completed April 2022
  • House #5--Rangihaeata: Construction underway - completion January 2023?
  • House #6--East Takaka: Resource consent approved. Building Consent submitted
  • Houses #7 to #9--Central Takaka: Resource Consent under review by Tasman District Council
  • House #10--Takaka: Resource consent submitted
  • Houses #11-24--Takaka: Resource consent under preparation for 8 x duplexes for pensioners and persons with disability
  • Houses #25-29--Pohara: Planning stages for 5 x 3 bedroom family homes

Our ability to deliver the program will depend upon the issuing of resource consents and securing funding.

 

Who are the homes for?

Any home provided by the GBMAHP must be used exclusively as the household’s Primary Residence.

 

How do I register my interest in an affordable home or in helping the project?

  • To register your interest in a rental (or rent-to-own) home please complete this form.
  • If you have a property and would like to host a home please complete this form.
  • If you would like to help the GBMAHP in other ways please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

 If you haven't already, please subscribe to our mailing list on the home page so you can keep up to date with developments.

 

How would you summarise the project?

The GBMAHP aims at providing low-income people with access to housing on a rent or rent-to-own basis. The GBMAHP will provide Direct support to those eligible for rent and rent-to-own. Eligibilty criteria are defined later in this FAQ. If you are not eligible we can still assist by providing access to our team to construct a house for you at your cost (Indirect ownership support). 

Our main focus is on building houses to be owned and managed by the GBMAHP as rentals. We will only do rent-to-own or ownership when there is scope in our building program, and consider them on a case-by-case basis.

 

Will you be able to help everyone?

No. We cannot be all things to all people. It is targeting people on low incomes and so you must meet our eligibility criteria to get project funding.

There are also people who due to rental histories, personal circumstances, etc. are not a good fit for the project. These will need to be served by others. However, the goal is to try and help as many eligible people as possible to get into affordable secure rental accommodation, or to finally own their own home. Others may want custom features in their homes which we cannot satisfy. 

 

You mention ‘eligible’, what does this mean?

The goal of the project is to provide an avenue to those in our community who are suffering from rental vulnerability, or who have insufficient means to purchase their own home. In other words, low-income workers, pensioners, beneficiaries, etc. To this end, the project will be using factors such as income, household wealth, etc. to assess eligibility.  For 2023 the the household income must be below $71,206 (80% of the median household income for the region), with assets below $50,000. The criteria are described in our Operations Manual and the Application Form.

 

Are you building 'tiny' homes?

No. Not as the term is commonly used (i.e. homes on wheels). Our homes will be small homes, with the minimum size a two bedroom, 60 square metre unit or an 80 square metre three bedroom.  More detailes are here.

They will be built on piles so are transportable (if necessary due to changes with the occupancy license arrangements on a property) and above the Takaka flood zone limit. Construction will be done by local Golden Bay builders,with materials and services procured through local suppliers wherever possible. These are 'conventional' homes which will meet or exceed the current building code, the Government's 'Healthy Homes' standard, and provide warm secure accommodation. We have incorporated 'Lifemark' principles to all our houses to maximise accessiblity. 

It is important to appreciate that the houses we build will not be everyone's preference. For example, there will be limited customisations of layouts. Where practicable we will use natural products, but may not always be possible. We are laser focused on affordability and this will dictate how we proceed.

 

Can you really provide rental and rent-to-buy homes for your target weekly costs?

Like all  builders, we've been hit very hard by the increase in construction costs--there was a 12% increase in material costs in the last quarter of 2021 and a similar increase is forecast for the first half of 2022. However, we were still initially able to keep the rent for House #2 to $295/week, and have agreed at $300/week for Houses #3 and #4. The rent-to-own model payments are on the order of $350/week.  Keeping these targets will be harder as the price increases and interests rates increase bite, but we will endeavour to do so.

 

Will the rents change?

The rents can be adjusted annually by the consumer price index (CPI) from the time of occupancy. Where practical, we will try and limit rent increases to inflation, less rents, or growth in median hourly wage less one percent.

 

Where will the land come from?

We have been offered 24 locations around Golden Bay so far where individuals or Tasman District Council are willing to 'host' a single home, or build multiple homes. We are working with Tasman District Council to see if they can make unused land available for housing.

 

Is this a Co-Housing Project?

No. The project is designed around individual homes, not living in a community/co-housing arrangement. Co-housing arrangements also add complications, costs and probably delays.

If you don't believe this, read Robin Allison's book "Co-Housing for Life" on establishing Auckland's Earthsong community, a copy of which we have donated to Takaka Library for those interested in understanding our decision not to follow this approach.

There is a parallel co-housing project being developed for Meihana Street in Takaka by another group.

  

Where will the money come from to build the houses?

The Government, commercial financers, or those committed to 'Impact Investments' which not only offer a financial return, but more importantly have a positive impact on society (see below).  We have had good support from the local community who have helped finance the first houses, for returns of up to 4% on a five year term. 

impact investing 3

Source: https://theconnective.nz/the-connective/tikanga-led-impact-investment/

 We will be partnering with Westpac Bank for finance as the project grows..

 

How Does the 'Rent-to-Own' Model Work?

Our first priority is for GBMAHP rental houses so we will only do rent-to-own if there is a gap in our build program and when the land is 'secure' (as we do not want to find people owning a house and losing the land access).

For the first three years, the tenant pays rent to the GBMAHP to cover our costs. This also provides a credit history to show that they meet the requirements for us providing mortgage credit under the CCCFA. After three years, we provide a mortgage for the building agreement cost. The payments are used to build equity in the house. Eventually, the house cost is paid and the ownership transfers.

In detail, our approach is as follows:

  • Once land is identified, and an agreement is in place between the tenant and the landowner we will prepare the resource consent and the building consent. If it is on family owned land, the resource consent fee will need to be paid to the TDC by the tenant or landowner as an in kind contribution.
  • We will finance and construct the house at the lowest cost that we can
  • All aspects of the build--labour, materials, sub-contractors, etc. are recorded against the cost of the house build
  • At the end of the build the actual cost of the build, architect fees, etc. become the 'Building Agreement Cost'
  • For three years we have a rental agreement in place at an agreed rent (our target is $300/week)
  • At the end of three years the house can be purchased for the 'Building Agreement Cost', financed either by ourselves or with the Recipient's own finance
  • Where practicable, the payments will be on the order of $350/week to pay off the mortgage which means that in 20+ years the house will be paid for (the time depends on both the build cost and how much we are paying for accessing the funding)

 

I have land and am considering hosting a house, how does it work?

At present we are not looking for any further hosting opportunities.

Our process is as follows:

  • We will assess the viability of the land for the project, consulting with TDC about any potential issues with getting a resource consent, etc.
  • We (or the intended recipient) will sign a 35 year lease agreement for the land for an agreed ground rent (from $0 to $50/week) using our standard agreement.
  • We then prepare and submit the resource consent application. 
  • Once the resource consent is issued, we get the building permit issued
  • With the building consent in hand, we then finance and build one of our houses
  • We will pay you and agreed land lease payment for each year of the agreed tenancy period 
  • At the end of the tenancy period we will either renew the agreement, move the house, or sell the house to you at an agreed valuation.

Please note that the resource consent will likely contain the provision: "The dwelling authorised by RMxxxxx shall not be used for short-term commercial visitor (tourist) accommodation.” The goal of the project is to provide long-term rental accommodation for Golden Bay and this is the basis upon which our funders are providing us financing.  If that is your objective then the project is not a good fit for you.

 

Can I build on family owned land?

Yes, with a few provisos. 

This is an affordable housing project so the recipients of the house will need to meet the GBMAHP eligiblity criteria with regard to wealth and income. If for some reason the recipient leaves, the house becomes a GBMAHP rental where we will tenant it with someone who meets our eligiblity requirements.

There would need to be a lease agreement between the tenant and the land owner for the minimum rental period or a sufficient rent-to-own period when they can pay off the house. 

Under rent-to-own the GBMAHP owns the house until it is paid for. 

Rent-to-own are not a priority and we look at each one on a case-by-case basis.

 

Can I purchase one of your homes?

Yes. This is our 'Indirect Support' or 'Ownership' model. The purpose of Indirect Support is to provide revenue to the project so that we can undertake our charitable activities. We only do this when there is a gap in our build program for GBMAHP rental houses.

The table below shows the differences between the 'Direct' and 'Indirect' Support models.  With the 'DIrect' Support model the project (MAHT) does everything from identifying land through financing. With the 'Indirect' support model we provide the client access to our intellectual property through a payment to the Trust.  If desired, we can also be paid to help with the resource consent, supplying materials at through our supply chains, and even helping managing the build. You will pay the same rates as if you used someone else, but with the knowledge that the funds are being used to support affordable housing in your community. 

 

How are you dealing with Tasman District Council zoning and other requirements?

By fully complying with them. The Tasman Resource Management Plan (TRMP) is a statutory document which Tasman District Council must apply to all projects. We have designed the project specifically with this reality in mind. While we may engage on some interpretations of the TRMP, we are not considering any 'accommodations' or changes to it for our project. From our work to date we are confident that we can achieve our goals of increasing affordable housing in Golden Bay within the requirements of the TRMP. Tasman District Council staff are as interested as everyone is in addressing Golden Bay's housing crisis, and have been very helpful in guiding the project to date. We have support of the CEO and the Council and are working closely with them to address the challenge of affordable housing. They have provided invaluable advice and guidance on how best to undertake the proejct.

 

Given the demand for affordable rentals, how will you prioritise?

Since land availability is the key to anything, our priorities revolve around that. We are looking at all options to access land, particularly with Tasman District Council.

Once we have a GBMAHP rental tenants are selected. As noted in the Concept Proposal, potential considerations include—but are not limited to—Length of tenure in Golden Bay with housing insecurity, Working families with children (i.e. the GBHT model), elderly, disability, children, MSD eligible but unable to be served,transitional youth. The key is to find an approach which objectively gives the most balanced outcome. The approach will be reviewed and adapted regularly.

 

What do you mean by “suitable land”?

For land to be suitable it must first meet Tasman District Council’s requirements for them to issue a Resource Consent. If it passes this requirement, the project builders will then assess the suitability. Flat land with good access is ideal; hilly land with difficult access likely will not work. The land owner must also be willing to enter into an occupancy license agreement for at least 15 years (which allows us time to recover the full cost of the build) so that we do not run the risk of having to relocate the house too early. Finally, sites which do not require major upgrades to on-site wastewater disposal will be preferred.

 

Who are going to build the houses?

Qualified tradespeople from Golden Bay. Our contruction manager Rodney Watson is a licensed building practitioner (LBP). We have some independent builders, and other sub-contractors include Golden Bay Plumbing, Golden Bay Electrical, Takaka Contracting, Dan Darwen Builders, and others.

 

If I host a home, will I have any say in who lives there?

There is a two phase process to selecting the tenants. Ray White Reality manages the process. They will apply our eligibility criteria and propose a short list of potential tenants. A small committee comprised of a representative of the Mohua Affordable Housing Trust, the land owner, and others as appopriate will review the potential tenants and select the final tenant. It must be emphasized that the selection is in accordance with the Tenancy Act. 

 

We have a housing crisis in our part of New Zealand. Can you help?

Yes. We have specifically designed the project to be replicable elsewhere in New Zealand by groups interested in providing affordable housing.

  • Access to our designs is available by making a donation to the Trust
  • We have prepared an 'Operations Manual' which can be described as 'Affordable Housing for Dummies'. It provides details on all aspects of how we have established and operate our project.

We have beneffited immensely from the support of others working in the affordable housing space, and are happy to pass on what we have done.

 

Will I be able to bring my dog/cat/smoke/etc.?

Our tenancy conditions and the tenant responsibilities are explained here. If it is a 'rent-to-own' situation any constraints will be those agreed with the land owner.

 

How do I make a Complaint?

Our complaints policy is here.

You can lodge your complaint here.

For complaints related to credit provided by the GBMAHP, the Trust is a Participant of the Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme Inc. (“IFSO Scheme”). The IFSO Scheme has been approved by the Minister of Consumer Affairs to provide an external disputes resolution service for consumers with complaints about their financial service providers. If you do not agree with our final decision concerning your complaint we will have reached "deadlock" and will issue a formal notice. With this notice of “deadlock”, and within 3 months of it being issued, you can take your complaint to the IFSO Scheme and the IFSO Scheme can determine whether or not it has jurisdiction to consider it. The IFSO is an independent authority that will carry out an impartial investigation

 

What is your Privacy Policy?

Our privacy policy is given here.