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: Resource Consent issued and building consent application submitted
- Houses #6 to #8--Takaka: Resource Consent under preparation
- House #9--East Takaka: Resource consent under preparation
A map showing the status of our builds at various locations around Golden Bay is at the bottom of the 'Our Houses' page.
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 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 support).
Below is how this benefits the different parties participating in the GBMAHP:
- Homes which are warm, dry, secure and comfortable to live in
- Secure long-term tenancies
- Rent which is affordable, and lower than the prevailing 'market' rates in Golden Bay
- Homes which are warm, dry, secure and comfortable to live in
- Homes they can afford to buy on a modest income
- Financing for those who may not be eligible, or have to pay a premium
- Leasehold land arrangements which greatly reduce the cost of home ownership
- Support for those in need of affordable accommodation in our community
- A modest income from the ground rent
- Trouble free tenancies with the GBMAHP managing all matters related to the rentals
- For GBMAHP rental houses, at the completion of the minimum hosting period (15 years) the opportunity to purchase the dwelling at an agreed valuation (see our hosting contract).
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, workers, pensioners, beneficiaries, etc. To this end, the project will be using factors such as income, household wealth, etc. to assess eligibility. We are drawing on the practices of other providers to establish the eligibility criteria. The current criteria are summarised below with more details here.
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 Golden Bay's 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 are working with 'Lifemark' to ensure that our houses meet accessibility requirements.
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.
Why did you adopt the approach in the Concept Proposal for the project?
There were three key ‘anchors’ described in the Concept Proposal which led to the project design:
- Start with the affordability of $200-$300/week for rent and $300-$400/week for ownership (for simplicity $250/week and $350/week respectively)
- Fully comply with all existing Tasman District Council zoning and regulations
- Move rapidly
With these three anchors in place it created the challenge to find the most viable solution. The rapid increase in building materials costs has made things challenging, but we are still working towards constructing quality small houses which will be affordable to rent or own.
Are you tied to this approach?
No. As long as the outcome of providing affordable accommodation is achieved how we get there is not critical.
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 able to keep the rent for House #2 to $295/week, and have agreed at $300/week for Houses #3 and #4. The 12 month mortgage costs offered for House #1 and #5 are below $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 rental contracts have the provision for the rent to increase every 12 months. We will endeavour to limit increases to the change in the consumer price index (CPI) over the previous 12 months.
Where will the land come from?
We have been offered over 30 locations around Golden Bay so far where people are willing to 'host' a single home, or build multiple homes. We are working to identify and procure land for building multiple homes.
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 3% on a five year term.
We will be partnering with Westpac Bank for finance as the project grows..
How Does the 'Rent-to-Own' Model Work?
The rent-to-own model has the MAHT owning the house. The difference between the cost to MAHT of providing the dwelling, and the rent paid, is used to build equity in the house for the tenant. Once the MAHT's costs have been covered, the ownership of the house transfers to the tenant. This is reflected in our standard agreement. Rent-to-own is only considered when the land is 'secure' as we do not want to find people owning a house and losing the land access.
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 (typyically $300/week or less)
- 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 $300/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?
The 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 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. We strongly encourage building on family land as this would provide a secure and hopefully low/minimal cost occupancy license. It's ideal for 'rent-to-own' for the tenant.
This is an affordable housing project so the recipients of the house will need to meet the GBMAHP criteria with regard to wealth and income.
At the same time, we need to avoid the situation where people with means are using the limited resources of our project to house family when they could reasonably be expected to finance the cost themselves. So we will need to look at this on a case-by-case basis.
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.
We would build the house using our 'rent-to-own' approach (see above) but with a rental period to ensure that this opportunity is not abused.
Another option is to use our 'Indirect Support' model. If you have the capital already and want to use the project to supply a home that is a possibility (see below), or if you have an existing transportable dwelling which is fully compliant with the building code.
Can I purchase one of your homes?
Yes. This is our 'Indirect Support' model. The purpose of Indirect Support is to provide revenue to the project so that we can undertake our charitable activities. 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 'Indirect Support Client' (IS 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 retail prices 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.
With both models Goodison Architects are paid to access the designs and have them manage the building consent process. If our build team has time, they can be contracted directly by you to build the houses, or you may get another builder to do so.
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?
Currently, we are prioritising those who meet our eligibility criteria and are able to identify land through the applicant’s family or social networks where were can build houses on. Since land availability is the key to anything, if someone has such access, it makes housing them so much easier: two of our first five houses are on family land.
As we expand, 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 TDC’s requirements dwellings. This decision will be made solely by TDC. 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 10-15 years 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 (see below).
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 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.
What if I provide an occupancy license and sell my land before the 10-15 year period is up?
There are a few scenarios:
- Ideally, the new owner would agree to extend the occupancy license so nothing changes.
- You may wish to have the house removed from the land. There is a fee for us doing this based on the sunk costs that we have for the house (e.g. septic and power).
- You may wish to keep the house and not use it for affordable housing. We would negotiate an appropriate price for the house purchase based on market values prevailing at the time. Please note that the Resource Consent is likely to include wording to the effect: "The dwellings authorised by RMxxxxxx shall not be used for short-term commercial visitor (tourist) accommodation.” Our focus is on providing a long-term solution to the housing crisis.
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.
- We are using a 'Multi-Proof' consent with Tasman District Council which means that the house design has been consented so unless modified, only foundation and wastewater elements need to be added for issuing the building consent. So for others it will be straight forward to consent the houses in Tasman District, and other councils also use the multi-proof approach.
- Access to our designs is available by paying the Goodison Architecture for their use. They will also provide support for the consenting process.
- 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.
If you complaint is related to the finance for provided by the GBMAHP for a dwelling, we are registered with the the IFSO Scheme. This is a disputes resolution service to help with unresolved problems between you and your financial service provider. If the ISFO accepts a complaint, they investigate it carefully, and, if they can, resolve it. You can lodge your complaint here.