The reality is that everyone needs an accessible house – not just the disabled or elderly. There are no crystal balls – who knows what is in your future? If a stroke/accident occurred tomorrow – would your house meet your needs? If a family member with a disability wanted to visit you – could they get in your front door? Use the toilet?
Housing is a hot topic in New Zealand but for many disabled New Zealanders, their only choice is a resthome. There are only two Trusts in the country that deal with housing for disabled people and the Whangarei Accessible Housing Trust is leading the way. The only other accessible accommodation is through Housing New Zealand. That supply is very limited, both in the number of properties available, and the level of accessibility.
What are the main points of difference for the Trust?
- The Trust’s main aim is to ensure that a disabled person has the maximum opportunity to increase their independence. This reduces their reliance on caregivers to provide support, and allows them to exercise control over their own lives. Check out our “modifications” page to see what is possible.
- The Trust endeavours to ensure all properties are not only accessible, but also affordable. It is, unfortunately, a fact that most disabled people are not in a financial position to pay additional monies to secure suitable accommodation.
However, “accessible” does not need to mean “more expensive”. The Trust quickly learnt that if you build it with the accessible features from the outset, there is no reason the house needs to cost anymore. Even people without disabilities need to consider the value that is added to a home by including accessible features now – by doing this at the outset you ensure that the home can be used by 100% of people – that increases the ability of the owner to attract tenants, or future buyers – whilst ensuring that if your reality does change, you are already prepared.