Meet the people in community housing – Brook Turner from Vision West

Oct 3, 2017 | Member profiles

“Vision West has a range of housing services that support people in the community in different ways. This includes 50 long-term social houses. They also run six emergency houses supporting up to 24 families a year. Our Housing First service aims to house 112 families in the next two years with 16 households housed so far. We are aiming to house 56 chronically homeless families by the end of January.”


Has this job changed you?

I’ve often heard people dismiss poverty by talking about freedom of opportunity. There is a belief in some that no matter where you come from, if you work hard, don’t play the victim and believe in yourself you will succeed in life. The problem with this very believable statement is that it has an assumption that sits at the heart of it. The assumption is that everyone starts from the same place. But the truth is they don’t. I come from a home of privilege, not wealth. My parents loved one another and raised my brother and I to believe that we could be anything we wanted to be. They put energy, money, time, faith and belief into us. There was no abuse in my family, no racial prejudice to overcome, no substance addiction or generational poverty. My start line was one of security, safety, love, belief and wholeness. And although I have made some bad decisions in life, I am still a reasonably whole person. My story is not the story of the poor. It is not the story of many New Zealanders. Their story begins with pain, abuse, neglect, economic deprivation, lack of access to education, words of hate, and experience of trauma. So when we talk about freedom of opportunity perhaps we should start by making sure everyone can get to the same starting line, then the race is even.

What experience has stuck with you?

We recently housed a family of eight people, six children under the age of 10. The family had spent three years living in an overcrowded room. When Vision West met them, they had been living in a single room at a motel for 25 weeks. The children had respiratory illnesses and skin issues due to the dampness and inadequate living standards. Last week, we moved this family into their first home in over three years and the parents kept the house as a surprise for the children. The moment the kids saw the house was one our organisation will not forget quickly. If only we could … see housing as a human right, not a human privilege. Imagine the difference we could make.

What’s Vision West’s aim for the future?

We have a finite aim of ending chronic homelessness in West Auckland, but the vision is much broader. Our goal is to see transformed lives resulting in a healthy community. That means giving opportunity to the people we work with to dream, work, train and build their own lives, their way. It means self-determination and equal liberty for all Westies.


This article has been reprinted from the Western leader.

Recent articles

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 22 August 2022

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 22 August 2022

Welcome new CHA team members, Newsroom opinion piece: Unlocking home ownership, Podcast out now, Our Conference is coming back, CHA Comms lead wins journalism award, Tenancy Management Code of Practice, Research Webinar, Sustaining tenancies or swift evictions? Job...

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 8 August 2022

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 8 August 2022

Development Pipeline Platform, Climate Change policy, MBIE and MHUD Building for Climate Change program, Powerful Partners (International delegation visit) Power Housing Australia, Right at Home episode two: Progressive Home Ownership, Council collaboration paves way...

Annual Report

CHA’s 2020/21 Annual Report

CHA’s 2020/21 Annual Report

Strategic Plan

CHA’s 2022-2023 Strategic Workplan

CHA’s 2022-2023 Strategic Workplan

Featured Network

Residential Tenancies Act Community of Practice

Residential Tenancies Act Community of Practice

Our Place

Our Place Report 2017

Our Place Report 2017

Case Studies

Media Releases

News

How community housing can mend our fraying fabric

NZ's social housing register has quadrupled in size since 2017 and big changes to mindsets over house building and housing affordability are needed, writes Community Housing Aotearoa chief executive Vic Crockford in The Newsroom. Click here to read more. 

Anti-Social Behaviour notes Nov 21

Tenants Protection Association (Chch) Inc. Notes for presentation at Tenancy Management Community of Practice Nov 2021 Anti-Social Behaviour notes Nov 21

Newsletters

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 22 August 2022

Welcome new CHA team members, Newsroom opinion piece: Unlocking home ownership, Podcast out now, Our Conference is coming back, CHA Comms lead wins journalism award, Tenancy Management Code of Practice, Research Webinar, Sustaining tenancies or swift evictions? Job...

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 8 August 2022

Development Pipeline Platform, Climate Change policy, MBIE and MHUD Building for Climate Change program, Powerful Partners (International delegation visit) Power Housing Australia, Right at Home episode two: Progressive Home Ownership, Council collaboration paves way...

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 25 July 2022

We pay tribute to Ricky Houghton's lifetime work legacy, a great  well respected leader a huge loss for our sector and Tai Tokerau community, Acknowledgement and farewell to Bernie Smith another strong leader and advocate all the best on your new journey,...

Community Housing Aotearoa newsletter 11 July 2022

Our CEO Vic Crockford reflects on matariki and the current situation with Covid. Our new Community Housing Aotearoa podcast is out - with the first episode featuring interviews with Dwell Housing Trust and CORT's respective chief executives and Penina Housing Trust...

Community Housing Aotearoa newsletter 27 June 2022

Our CEO Vic Crockford reflects on our past, while looking forward, Dwell Housing Trust's board is recognised for their sterling efforts, new research highlights NZ's ongoing housing challenges. Upcoming events include; the Community Housing Aotearoa MSD Training...

Submissions

Legislation

Reports

Research

Community Housing Aotearoa

Contact Us

Contact Info

Level 11, Ranchhod Tower,
39 The Terrace /
102-112 Lambton Quay
PO Box 11543
Wellington 6142

+04 385 8722

support@communityhousing.org.nz

Follow On