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October 2017 - Keith Taylor appointed chair of Dwell

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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. 

July 2017 - Five New Homes in Wadestown

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Wadestown Ark Trust was established in the early 1980s to provide residential accommodation to elderly people in need on an owner-occupier basis. At this time the trust built five homes in Wadestown. In 2015 due to changes to the retirement village law and the resulting compliance requirements, the trust decided it could no longer continue to manage and operate the trust as it has done. However, Wadestown Ark wanted to ensure that the homes could still be used for affordable housing and that the current residents could remain living in their homes. As a result Wadestown Ark Trust approached Dwell to explore how the two organisations could work together.

Working with Wadestown Ark Trust, Dwell has again achieved our strategic goal of More Homes. On 30 June 2017 Dwell staff, board, and supporters celebrated the acquisition by Dwell of these five homes on Wadestown Road.

Dwell’s new Wadestown Road location is comprised of five homes, two of which will be part of Dwell’s shared home ownership programme. This allows the current residents to change their license to occupy into an ownership agreement. The current residents couldn’t afford to buy the homes outright themselves. Through a shared ownership with Dwell they could obtain ownership and remain living in their homes. This is a bit different to our usual shared home ownership programme where homeowners purchase approximately 70 to 85 percent of a property while Dwell owns the remaining portion. 

Two of the remaining Wadestown Road homes will be available as affordable rentals. This option gives people the opportunity to rent a quality home at a lower-than-market rental rate. The other home will be used to house an individual or couple from the government's social housing register. Dwell is a registered social housing provider with the Ministry of Social Development.

Here at Dwell, it is our mission to provide affordable, quality housing where people flourish. By offering several versatile housing options, Dwell seeks to accommodate individuals of varying circumstances and paths in life and support positive, healthy communities.

Together, Dwell Housing Trust and Wadestown Ark have worked hard to provide more quality, affordable homes at a time when they are so greatly needed. We are proud to have worked with Wadestown Ark and we thank them for wanting to work with Dwell and their support in this endeavor. Our huge thanks to our legal firm, Succeed Legal, for all their hard work on what was some complicated legal arrangements and documents as well. Their ongoing support of our work is significant.

This was another great opportunity for Dwell to be innovative and creative and work in partnership to provide more homes. We are so pleased this opportunity has now been realised.

April 2017 - Finance and administration position

Dwell is looking for an experienced person to fill a part time finance and administration position.  The job description is below and is also available as a pdf document (130kb).

 

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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