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FNHL to boost Kaitāia housing

The council’s commercial and asset management arm, Far North Holdings, plans to build much-needed new housing for the over 50s in partnership with Kaitāia’s Switzer home.

The proposed Western Village development will provide 28 one-bedroom units in Kaitāia to house one to two people per unit or up to 56 community members.

The project is a collaboration between Claud Switzer Memorial Trust (CSMT) and Far North Holdings Ltd and remains subject to Resource Consent and Ministry of Housing & Urban Development approvals.

The proposed 28 units have been designed to be accessible (eight fully accessible and eight partially accessible) with the balance being a standard home design. The homes will support independent living, while encouraging health, well-being, and a sense of community among tenants.

With an increasing population and a growing housing register, the new housing project offers an innovative solution to the region’s housing crisis.

CSMT manager Tina Mills says supporting the community, with a focus on opportunities to build more homes for the aged and needy, aligns with the vision of the organisation and its namesake, the late Claud Ivon Switzer.

“We are very aware of the housing needs of our people in the Te Hiku community, specifically those in need aged 50 plus,” Mills says.

“In line with the Eden philosophy we embrace at Switzer, we are passionate about creating authentic human habitats that uphold an individual’s right to a life full of purpose, connection, empowerment, and possibility, regardless of age or changing abilities.

“We are therefore very excited to be able to get this project off the ground to ease some of the burdens on individuals and their families in the area.”

The community housing project will include a functional landscape design with extensive fruit trees and vegetable gardens, a covered gathering area, recycling, and parking facilities.

The Claud Switzer Memorial Trust or ‘Switzer’ (as it’s commonly referred to) was established in 1955 per the wishes outlined in the will of the late Claud Ivon Switzer of Mangōnui, who died in 1954.

The original 14-bed care home on South Road is the only care facility in Te Hiku. It has grown to become an 83-bed residential care facility, including a hospital and memory loss unit, a community programme service for healthy elderly (and those living with dementia), plus short-term respite care, carer-support, convalescence, and rehabilitation.

Mills says that after attending an FNHL presentation on the future planning of Kaitāia Community Projects, Switzer saw an opportunity to become a registered Community Housing Provider (CHP).

“The pathway to continuing to provide housing was to become a CHP and FNHL has helped guide, support and advise us to achieve this accreditation,” Mills says.

“The CEO, management team, board of trustees, and FNHL have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months to assemble a robust plan and all supporting documentation for the application.

“We are now one of only two organisations in Northland to have been successfully approved as registered Community Housing Providers.”

Far North Holdings Ltd CEO Andy Nock says he is proud of what the Switzer housing partnership has achieved and hopes to partner with others in Te Tai Tokerau to achieve CHP status.

“FNHL is all about helping to create prosperous, thriving communities and for this to exist we need to be developing homes that provide residents with quality of life and healthy living conditions. This can only be achieved by partnering with the local organisations who understand the needs of individuals and families living in those communities,” Nock says.

The project is expected to be completed by August 2025.

Far North Holdings Limited is the commercial and asset management arm of Far North District Council. It manages property, maritime and transport assets on behalf of Far North ratepayers and is focused on boosting investment and employment for the benefit of Northland communities.