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January 2018 - 2018 is Dwell’s year

2018 Sign04 2Each year our team creates a theme for our year’s work. This year it’s “2018 is Dwell’s year”. While every year at Dwell is significant, right now we are very aware that our mission to provide affordable quality homes where people flourish is more important than ever. Housing, specifically the lack of affordable housing, is currently one of the most talked-about issues in New Zealand.

We are heartbroken by how the housing crisis is affecting people. People of all ages, especially our children and young people. Not having access to safe, warm and dry affordable homes affects health, wellbeing, education, and long-term life outcomes.

These poor outcomes for people affect not just individuals and families but us all as they cost – financially and socially - New Zealand so much more in the long term.

So, we are making 2018 our year to implement new ways of providing more homes to people in need by, working on new ways of raising capital, including establishing an impact investment programme; having a focus on developing an asset management strategy that will align our property assets with our strategic goals and the need to provide more homes; trying other fundraising options; being ready to work with the new government should they create initiatives that will enable Dwell to grow our supply of affordable homes.

As usual all our decision-making and work will be guided by Dwell’s values of people-centred, community building and forward thinking.

We have been working through some of these ideas for a long time so excited to finally be trying them out. We always need help – in big and small ways – so please keep an eye on what we are doing this year. We’ll be regularly updating our Facebook page and our website. One thing you can do now is let others know about our work. Not enough people know about Dwell and the work we do for people in housing need.

All the best for this year and we hope you’ll be part of Dwell’s 2018.

Alison Cadman, Chief Executive

 

December 2017 - Skilled intern to join Dwell in January 2018

Alison and IngridThe Department of Internal Affairs run an annual Community Internship Programme which provides grants for community organisations to employ skilled workers as interns. Grants are used to pay people while they are away from their own workplace doing the community internship. 

Dwell applied this year to employ Ingrid Downey from Housing New Zealand, who is a Technical Advisor in their Business Advisory Team and we were successful which was brilliant news!

Through the internship programme we wanted to engage a specialist from the social housing sector to assist Dwell with our asset management systems and strategies. An asset management strategy is a critical business tool for us to align our property assets with our strategic goals, including the need to provide more homes. We certainly have that expertise with Ingrid. Her background and knowledge after 9 years with Housing NZ, and before that working in housing in the US, will be invaluable to Dwell. 

We are also incredibly excited to be able to partner with Housing NZ in this way. We hope too that what we achieve will have benefits for the wider community housing sector as well.

The three objectives of the internships are:
• Review the asset management policies, guides and decision-making documents used by Dwell to identify opportunities to strengthen our asset management competencies.
• Develop an asset management strategy that directs Dwell in how to maintain and enhance our existing properties to support long asset life, health enhancing features to benefit the tenants, and guidance on asset decision-making over time.
• Identify additional resources and development of the asset strategies so that work can continue after the internship ends, recognising that this will be an on-going work for Dwell.

 

October 2017 - Keith Taylor appointed chair of Dwell

Keith512

Keith is a professional director with a number of board appointments currently including the Reserve Bank, Southern Cross Health Society and Hospitals, Gough, Gough and Hamer (Chair) and previously the Government Superannuation Fund (Chair) and NZQA.  

He has also been involved with a number of community organisations including being Chair of Wellington College and Scripture Union.

He brings to Dwell considerable governance, strategy and finance expertise.  He was previously Group Chief Executive of Tower Limited and is a qualified actuary as well as having science and commerce degrees.

 

October 2017 - Paul's message

My involvement with Dwell began as a volunteer with Wellington Housing Trust (WHT) back in March 2007, helping Alison out with whatever needed doing in the office. This was only a few months after I moved to Wellington from the UK, after 13 years in social housing there. I joined the board a few months later in June, so WHT and Dwell have been a substantial part of my time in New Zealand and hugely significant in my life here. Back in 2007 WHT had about 26 homes with our first new build development underway at Stoke Street in Newtown.

Fast forward 10 years, and Dwell owns or manages over 80 tenancies, with four new build developments completed, and our largest to date, 14 new homes in Kilbirnie, due to start on site in early 2018. We now offer shared home ownership and supportive housing. We have also expanded out of Wellington city to start offering good quality affordable housing in Hutt City, Porirua and Kapiti. A lot of this was made possible by the merger of Mahora House Inc. and WHT in 2013 - two longstanding organisations, each with over 30 years of experience and history, with a similar kaupapa.

More often than may be realised, mergers don't go smoothly. The fact that ours was so successful was testament to the hard work and commitment of all the staff, volunteers, board members and other backers involved.

When we launched Dwell we talked about honouring the past and welcoming the future. I was very conscious of the commitment, time and great work of all those people who had worked for, supported and contributed to Mahora House and WHT over the years. None of what we have achieved since then with Dwell would have been possible without them.

And with that, nau mai haere mai to our new chair Keith, and to the next stage in Dwell's future. It promises to be a really exciting time, as Dwell explores new opportunities to provide homes and places where people and communities flourish and thrive.

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!

What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.

Ngā mihi nui - paul.

Kowhai planting742

Paul at the opening of our Berhampore homes in September 2011 - with Alison Cadman and the then Minister of Housing Hon Phil Heatley

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On behalf of everyone involved with Dwell - our tenants, board members, staff, volunteers, supporters, and all stakeholders I want to say our heartfelt thanks and congratulations to Paul. He has made a huge contribution and achieved so much. We are in awe of the all the work done by Paul.

We will miss his passion and vision for Dwell; his knowledge of affordable housing; and the calm, considered and intelligent way he undertook the role of chair. He was not just the Dwell chair but a much liked and respected colleague and friend.

Tēnā rawa atu koe

Alison Cadman

September 2017 - Response to RNZ Insight programme

On the 10 September Radio NZ’s Insight programme covered NZ’s mental health services.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight/audio/201857790/insight-nz-s-mental-health-at-breaking-point

We were pleased to see the challenges of the mental health sector being raised in this RNZ Insight programme. We agree with so much in the programme.

We were however disappointed with the way Darren’s situation was portrayed.

As a community housing provider we house some people who have complex needs. Many of our tenants would likely be homeless if we didn’t house them, as no one else is willing to provide a home to them. We are a landlord and our role is to provide housing; we are not a provider of mental health services. We are more than a landlord though and we work hard to ensure tenants have the support they need and want to not only live independently but also to hopefully live well.

This can be hard work given the shortage and challenges of mental health services which were highlighted in the programme. It can also be hard work because of the choices our tenants make, which are influenced by their poor mental health and addiction problems.

At times we continue to house people despite damage being done to the home or tenant actions that result in poor living conditions as people need a home and a home also provides a base for support services to find them. Dwell receives no funding from government or the DHB to do the work we do with our tenants who have complex needs.

Being people-centred is one of our organisational values and this means we put people at the heart of everything we do. We therefore find it hard when the full story is not given. We are also concerned about vulnerable people being used for other people’s purposes. Vulnerable people can be easily persuaded to say and do things in the moment which they can then regret afterwards.

Dwell was approached by the journalist and agreed to discuss the situation and provide information for this story. Because we agreed to talk and be open about what we do and Darren’s circumstances Dwell was identified in the story. Yet no other agency was named and we are only one part of the puzzle in this particular case. We think the support agencies that work with Darren should have been spoken to also, especially Capital Coast District Health Board who assesses the needs of tenants like Darren and decides what support they receive. If this happened then the true picture of support may have been covered.

We don’t shy away from challenging the amount of support given to tenants and ask for people to be rehoused if they are not coping where they are living. However with the lack of supported housing options and the chronic shortage of housing generally, this is a huge challenge and can take time. There are also not enough specialist services to support people with complex needs. So again we were pleased to see RNZ highlight some of the issues for those of us working alongside mental health services.

If you have any questions about any of Dwell's services, please phone Alison Cadman.

July 2017 - Chair position

Our outgoing chair, Paul Scholey, is approaching the end of his maximum six year term so we are now seeking his successor.

Our new chair will play a crucial role in Dwell’s development and growth. You’ll lead our planning, the ongoing development of the board and help ensure we have a fit-for-purpose financial strategy to support Dwell’s services and our continued success.

You will have a strong grasp of best practice in governance, a track record as a board member or previous chairing experience, and a commitment to community housing.

You’ll be a sound strategic thinker, a strong people person and great team player and be business savvy with a social heart.

The responsibilites and qualities of the chair, and other board members, are listed in the chair role profile document (PDF, 404kb).

Dwell has a minimum of eight board meetings each year including two strategy and planning half days. The expected time commitment from the chair is about 10 hours each month, including meetings.

There is a lot of information about our great organisation on this website including biographies of our people, information about Dwell and what we do, and our 2015-2016 annual report.

If you would like to speak with someone about Dwell and the role of chair you are welcome to contact Alison Cadman, Chief Executive on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange a time.

To apply please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 8am Monday 21 August 2017. 

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About Dwell

 

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Dwell Housing Trust provides affordable, quality housing for people in need or on a low income. We are more than a landlord - we ensure our tenants have access to the support they need and want to live well, do well and be well.

We believe that affordable, stable and healthy housing is a fundamental right, and that appropriate housing has long-lasting benefits for the people living within those households and the wider community.

© Dwell Housing Trust 2016

    04 384 4854 /
0800 4 DWELL or 0800 439355
 info@dwell.org.nz
 PO Box 24-179, Manners Street
Wellington 6142, New Zealand
 Level 5, 173-175 Victoria Street
Wellington, New Zealand