Kaitaia’s He Korowai Trust saves families from eviction when their homes are subject to a mortgagee sale.
He Korowai Trust are the heroes of the far North of New Zealand, a region experiencing economic crisis. Based in Kaitaia, their team saves at least one home a week from mortgagee sale. In this video He Korowai client Rachel talks to us about her experience with the Trust, how they saved her home and helped her build a brighter future. He Korowai Trust is funded through the ASB Community Trust.
CEO Ricky Houghton says the organisation has stepped in to save over 500 family homes and only three have been lost.
“We have a group of skilled people in our Homelessness Intervention Team who save family homes from mortgagee sales around the Far North,” he says. “They save the homes, save the families money and avoid homelessness.”
By providing a combination of budgeting advice, intervention and advocacy, He Korowai Trust has seen more than 630 families improving their financial situation.
“We are a service of last resort,” says Ricky. “They must be refused help from everywhere else, so people see us as an oasis of hope. We’re very proud that we’re able to help.”
However, success has created more demand and, with 65 mortgagee sales on its books already and two more added each week, the organisation’s small team has been struggling.
“We’ve reached saturation point,” admits Ricky, “but now a grant from ASB Community Trust is going to help us build our capacity and improve our capability.”
He Korowai’s work is one of the projects being funded this year under the Trust’s Community Housing Projects Fund. A grant will allow it to train more staff so it has the capacity to meet the growing demand.
ASB Community Trust set up this fund in recognition of housing’s fundamental value in quality of life. It is a core factor in the health and wellbeing of families and the development of strong communities. The fund supports community organisations delivering innovative pilot projects aiming to prevent or solve homelessness, or the need for emergency housing.
The Community Housing Projects Fund is for innovative projects aiming to address the emergency housing needs of youth, women, Māori and the Pacific community.
Another organisation being funded is Lifewise, which is using multiple approaches to tackle the problems of homelessness in central Auckland; approaches which can be replicated in any location. It pulls together whatever agencies are required to form a pathway to housing and inclusion.
Lifewise promotes intensive case management, providing a one-stop-shop where a range of social support agencies, including government departments, can develop multi-agency case management strategies, arrange crisis accommodation, or other intervention options.