Member Profile: Marlborough Sustainable Housing Trust

Dec 5, 2014 | Member profiles

The Trust has seven volunteer trustees, who are involved in all aspects of the Trust’s activities as there are no employed staff. Their work includes everything from strategic planning, writing policies and procedures, applying for funding, project management of builds, to painting fences!

Trustees painting, from back to front: Kay Saville-Smith, Peter Yeoman, John Craighead, Dave Tattersfield.

It has been a huge milestone for the Trust to achieve registration in November 2014 as a community housing provider Class 1 – Social Landlord. The Trust is the only locally-based registered community housing provider operating in Marlborough.

This not-for-profit charitable trust started off in 2008 as a group of people wanting to promote affordable housing in Marlborough in a housing market characterised by low wages and relatively high house prices and rents. The Trust is dedicated to enabling people on low-moderate incomes into affordable housing where they have difficulty accessing fit-for-purpose, accessible and affordable housing through the private market or housing provided by local or central government.

The Trust operates a shared-ownership programme for low-moderate income first home buyers, which was funded through the Canterbury Community Trust. Currently the Trust has built homes for three shared-owners. The Trust has also built a fully accessible three-bedroom home which is rented to a family with a disabled child. There is a dearth of fully accessible, affordable rental housing in Marlborough.

The Trust is a Lifemark partner, and all Trust houses meet Lifemark accreditation standard. Houses also meet six-star standards on the Homestar checklist. Shared-owners and tenants remark on the warmth and comfort of their north-facing, extra-insulated homes. Running costs are kept very low with solar hot water systems that operate really well in Marlborough’s year-round sun.

The Trust is looking for a funding partner to develop more rental accommodation, with a focus on meeting the needs of low income families with disabled members.

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