A community healthcare centre that provides low-cost health services to people in the eastern suburbs will be able to buy its Linwood premises thanks, in part, to a loan from Christchurch City Council.
The Council has agreed to provide Piki Te Ora with a loan of up to $750,000 to support their purchase of the facility they are currently renting at 201 Linwood Avenue.
Piki Te Ora is a registered Very Low Cost Health provider, offering nurse visits for $5 and doctor visits for $19.50.
“Many people on low incomes struggle to afford doctors’ visits so we need clinics like Piki Te Ora that offer low-cost services that help to reduce the barriers to accessing healthcare,’’ says Mayor Lianne Dalziel.
“Piki Te Ora places a priority on creating an inclusive environment for Māori, Pasifika, refugee and migrant families as part of their low-cost service to the communities in the east of Christchurch. They care hugely for the health and wellbeing of the communities they serve and many of the staff work on a voluntary basis.
“I am delighted that as a Council we can help Piki Te Ora achieve its goal of buying its Linwood premises so that it no longer has to shoulder the cost of rent each year. With lower annual operating costs, they will have more money to direct towards healthcare services for those in need,’’ Mayor Dalziel says.
Piki Te Ora has already raised $975,000 for the purchase of the Linwood Avenue property through the sale of another property it owned in Cashel Street. It has also received a $250,000 grant from the Rata Foundation.
The $750,000 loan from the Council, which is being provided through the Community Organisation Loan Scheme, should give it the final funds it needs to complete the property purchase.
Ngaire Button, who chairs the Piki Te Ora board, says the loan from the Council means Piki Te Ora can achieve its goal of owning its own building.
“This will secure our future financially and means we are able to deliver more healthcare to our community through money saved on lease payments or paying higher rates of interest.’’
Piki Te Ora will have 10 years to repay the loan. It will have to pay 4.5 per cent interest on the loan, to match the cost of Council’s borrowing, which means the loan comes at no cost to ratepayers.