On 29 January 2015, the Prime Minister John Key and Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett attended the official opening of the new CORT Community Housing units in Mt Wellington. Sue Watson, Chair CORT Community Housing Board of Trustees welcomed everyone to the opening, “I am delighted to welcome you here today to the opening of this, very fine, community housing development owned by CORT Community Housing.
Building 16 new one bedroom and 3 x two bedroom units in Auckland is cause enough for celebration but add to that the fact that these units will provide long term, affordable, high quality housing for up to 23 social housing tenants and that is something almost miraculous! In fact, it is our hope that these will be more than ‘affordable rental units’ – they will become home to those who live here.
This is a significant development for CORT Community Housing. 27 years ago (well before my time) the newly formed Trust purchased their first property for the grand sum of $135,000 with the help of a Government Urban Renewal Grant in what was then considered an affordable housing area: Herne Bay. It was a villa that was converted into 3 x one bedroom flats – a property we still own today.
Almost three decades later, the Trust has properties valued at over $36 million and houses 220 tenants, many with high and long term needs. Our focus has traditionally been on people with mental health issues and we are now expanding to other vulnerable groups, such as low income single parent families and older people.
CORT is more than just a ‘landlord’. Our emphasis is on the well-being of our tenants to provide long term security of tenure, enabling our tenants to build connections in the communities where they live.
CORT Community Housing tenants and staff then proudly showed the Prime Minister and Paula Bennett their new homes.