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Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust

2 November 2015

The Charities Registration Board has decided that Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust does not meet the law’s requirements to be registered as a charity.

In assessing the Trust’s application, the Board was bound by the 2011 High Court decision relating to this Trust. The High Court made it clear that home ownership schemes are only charitable in limited circumstances, where:

  • there are no alternative options available –  such as rental housing or commuting and
  • any private benefits are provided to someone in charitable need or are incidental to a charitable purpose. 

The Board considers that the Trust’s home ownership scheme confers private benefits on individuals who may have other options available to them.  It is not focused on assisting only people who are in charitable need.  Although the Trust has some other purposes which may be charitable, they are not the Trust’s main focus.

Although the Trust originally appealed this decision, they have withdrawn the appeal.

NOTE:  Community housing organisations that are not eligible to be registered as a charity can apply for donee status and tax exemption through alternative provisions in tax legislation, that are soon to be enacted. 

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