Letters of Support
26th April 2016
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
Habitat for Humanity (Tauranga) Ltd has been associated with Tauranga Budget Advisory Service (TBAS) for many years and the partnership we have with them is invaluable to our mission which is to eliminate substandard housing by building, renovating, and selling simple, decent homes on an affordable basis. Our work is not only local but also National and International.
As part of our process in selecting needy families to partner with us for homes and then ensuring that they continue to grow and mature in their new life, TBAS plays a very important role.
At the beginning of the process, Habitat receives applications from families to partner with it in building or renovating a home and then renting it for an initial period of 5/6 years after which time the family is expected to purchase the house from Habitat. Once an application is received and the family looks to be a likely candidate, we instruct them to visit TBAS. The purpose of this initial visit is to:
1. Have a budget prepared in a professional manner. Because of the outcomes expected from our family partnership it is important that we have a budget that can be relied upon.
2. Have a schedule of loans prepared. The type and amount of loans a family is committed to has a big bearing on the Habitat process which includes the family being able to raise a mortgage to buy from us after the 5/6 years rental period.
3. Introduce the family to its “new” life by discussing and encouraging them to attend various courses which TBAS run. We make it compulsory for a “Habitat” family to attend the course “Everyone Wants a Home”. This course includes menu planning, budgeting, buying stuff, and housing from both a bank’s and lawyer’s perspective.
4. Assist families with TMM (total money management) and other financial help.
5. Information from TBAS is used when we approach Kiwibank for a loan eligibility assessment for the family – this is to look at the families likely position in 5/6 years’ time as far as raising a mortgage is concerned.
6. This initial contact with our families by TBAS is a critical part of our selection process and we would find it difficult and too expensive to try to do this ourselves. TBAS give us a written assessment of the family.
Once a family is chosen to partner with Habitat and they commence the 5 year rental phase, we continue to involve TBAS in our regular assessment of our families’ progress. We insist that our families visit TBAS at least once a year for the following:
a. Completion of another budget which is compared with the previous budget to ensure that the family is on track.
b. Completion of another loan schedule to ensure that loan debt is reducing as expected and that no further loans have been raised unless Habitat approval has been given first.
c. TBAS report back to us after which the family again will go through a loan eligibility assessment with Kiwibank.
Our families appreciate the assistance that TBAS is able to give them in the different matters mentioned above. Most of them have come from the most difficult backgrounds and without our help and the support from TBAS, they would never get the opportunity to own their own home.
Habitat believes that its work and the support of TBAS bring benefits to the community in the following ways:
a. Provides long term housing ownership to families who would otherwise be unable to own their own property. The philosophy is a “Hand Up” not a “Hand Out”. Targeted groups include, low income families with school or pre-school aged children, significant housing need (damp, mouldy, cold, overcrowded etc).
b. By providing families with the opportunity to improve their personal situation by acquiring skills which they would not otherwise have the opportunity to do.
c. Enables families to attain security and stability and eliminate the transient factor from their lives. Families benefit from Habitat’s program of family support to the point of ultimate independence.
d. Education. Part of our agreement with the family is that they must complete 50 education hours. These come under three broad categories: Financial Courses, Homeowner Skills and Life Skills. Our experience is that most will complete financial courses and that they invariably do more than the required 50 hours. The family with approved friends also does 450 work hours.
We strongly support the work that Tauranga Budget Advisory Service does for Habitat for Humanity (Tauranga) Ltd and for our Community.
28th April 2016
Re: Tauranga Budget Advisory Service
We wish to show our support for Tauranga Budget Advisory Service and acknowledge the positive contribution they have on our community.
We assist up to 20,000 people per year with food within the Tauranga community, and those needing more than 3 food parcels in 12 months are then referred on for budget advice. Tauranga Budget is our largest budget provider and “referral agent” who refer families and individuals needing food parcels to us. Tauranga Budget provide the opportunity for people to improve their financial situation by receiving expert advice and support.
During the last 6 months they have been running the Community Clinic Financial capability courses, this has resulted in a 15% decrease in food parcels issued to those considered “hi-users” of our Foodbank. This is an incredibly successful outcome.
They are a valuable resource for our clients who require budget assistance. The work they do for those who need it is priceless.
11th May 2016
To Whomever It May Concern
We are writing in support of Tauranga Budget Advisory Service (TBA).
We work very closely in partnership with TBA, having one of their budgeters working out of our support office 3 mornings per week. The relationship is very beneficial to both parties and to our clients, enabling a more holistic service to those in need in our community.
Due to the services we provide, working closely with TBA allows us to ensure that we target our limited resources to the clients most in need. It ensures that clients take responsibility for their situation and ensures that they don’t end up back in the same situation by making our help conditional on them working with a budgeter on an ongoing basis to address their financial issues.
In addition to this work, TBA also runs practical financial literacy and shopping/cooking on a budget courses, which have been hugely beneficial to our clients. We hope that this practical skills and knowledge will then pass on down to the next generation, breaking the cycle of financial illiteracy which is so prevalent in our communities.
Not only does our partnership enable us to provide a more holistic service to our clients, it enables us through regular network meetings to share essential resources and information about the issues in our community and to work together to address these.
TBA is a wonderful, dedicated and professionally run service which is focussed on achieving the best outcomes for their clients and the wider community, and working in partnership with other agencies to achieve this.
Yours with kind regards
Lynne Mackenzie Brown
11 May 2016
To whom it may concern,
Tauranga Budget Advisory Service
It gives me great pleasure to write this reference for the Tauranga Budget Advisory Service on behalf of the Welcome Bay Community Centre Inc.
Tauranga Budget Advisory Service (TBAS) has been involved with the Community Centre almost since the Centre opened its first premises in 2009.
The Centre was established to address the overwhelming need for social support in the area, and TBAS has played a fundamental role in delivering these much-needed services .
Debt destroys people’s mana and the people in our community have enormous pride. Providing an opportunity for them to seek help, knowing they will not be judged, is crucial to breaking the debt cycle. The advisor has walked long journeys alongside his clients, building lasting relationships with them, enabling them to seek help and advice with other agencies. Having been empowered with the skills to solve their own problems, clients not only become advocates for TBAS, but they also become mentors to the community. Many of these clients have built an ongoing relationship with the Community Centre staff, providing an opportunity to engage with and give back to their own community.
When a client walks out of the room after their appointment with the advisor, with a huge grin on their face and declaring they are now debt-free for the first time in over 20 years (virtually all their adult life), we know that this service is crucial to our community.
The relationship between TBAS and the Tauranga Foodbank has also been crucial in lifting the provision of service in this area. One of the key issues within Welcome Bay is access to transport to travel into the city. By engaging with TBAS advisors, clients can receive food parcels delivered direct to the Centre.
Providing a service to fix a problem is one way to deal with social issues, however, empowering the community with skills and resources to solve its own problems is a sustainable way to build community capacity and develop community resilience and self-sufficiency.
12 May 2016
Tauranga Budget Advisory Service
17th Ave West,
It is with pleasure that I submit this correspondence as a letter of support and acknowledgement of the service that TBAS has provided to the Nightshelter and to the men that frequent our facility/service.
It is the role of the shelter staff to exit its guests into housing in a sustainable way. Having TBAS support that goal in two ways, financial literacy sessions and 1 on1 on-going budget advice has been invaluable.
Our client group often have long histories of homelessness, significant debt, inability to manage on their income to name a few. Residing at the Nightshelter provides opportunity to retrain and up-skill whilst the guest is safe, fed and well rested.
Those men who have exited into housing and had engaged with TBAS (at the shelter and TBAS) are still managing their homes and their budgets admirably. On our home visits Financial Notes Books are still in use and they tell us with pride how much easier it is to manage their money now.
The budgeters that have engaged with the men have been absolutely respectful, non-judgmental, engaging and patient. It has been evidenced that they will go the extra mile to meet the needs of this specific group, on their terms.
To date TBAS has held regular onsite group sessions that increase financial literacy at all levels: Example of the program below;
Week 1. Note Book
Food plan and glow bug
Week 2. Debt booklet
So you want to buy something
Needs v Wants
Week 3. Goals Booklet
Savings Booklet and calculations
Make interest your friend
The sessions have made a significant impression on the men and how they manage their daily lives.
TBAS has been instrumental in assisting TMNT to achieve its Mission which is:
“To provide safe shelter and access to services designed to break the cycle of homelessness”.
Access to TBAS has been un-obstructed, invaluable and flexible in its approach.
Please accept this letter in support of TBAS and what they have achieved for and on behalf of our client group.
If any further information is required, please contact the writer.
Tauranga Moana Nightshelter Trust.
22 April 2016
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
Tauranga Budget Advisory Service Incorporated
I would like to support the work that Tauranga Budget Advisory Service provides in our Community supporting individuals and families across the wider Tauranga area into better financial outcomes. In particular we have been working alongside Diane Bruin (Manager) and Jeannine Dunn (Community Educator) to provide the avenue to enable our long term residents to becoming more independent.
This programme started in January 2016 where we met to establish key outcomes we all wanted to achieve for our long term in-house residents, challenged with long term mental health disorders.
These included: visiting a Supermarket to do weekly shop, comparing prices across a number of Supermarkets, establishing a menu plan of healthy affordable meals and work to a realistic budget.
Key outcomes, having visited the Supermarket they were quite exhausted and while initially wanting steak and salmon realised the budget wouldn’t stretch to these delicacies. Comparing prices across different retailers was very helpful to establish cheapest options. They were set homework each 30 minute training session and had 2 weeks to complete. It took them a week to complete an assessment of the programme. The next step is to complete their shop for healthy breakfast’s for a month and then progress on to other meals.
Our ideal is that there income will be managed in the future to pay rent, power, food and all incidentals. That they will have an established garden to supplement their income to provide healthy meals and fresh vegetables and salads.
Rau O Te Huia is grateful for all the assistance from Diane and Jeanine.