The founder of a local homes trust is hoping his MBE will help “draw attention to the absolute importance of housing during this time of a housing crisis.”
Michael Van Neste, who established the Jersey Homes Trust in 1995 and chaired the Board of Trustees until his retirement in January 2022, is one of seven islanders to have been named in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
The Jersey Homes Trust is the largest of a number of independent housing associations in Jersey and was set up to provide social rented homes for island residents.
The JHT now owns and manages 835 homes spread over 24 estates, having utilised almost £100m of funding from banks.
Nowadays, Mr Van Neste remains a Consultant for the JHT, and is also Chair of the Cranham Group, a Jersey-based property investment and development group.
After stepping down from the leading role, Mr Van Neste became a columnist for Express, using his platform to speak out against inequality on the island and the worsening housing crisis.
Pictured: Mr Van Neste's work with the JHT resulted in almost 850 homes for islanders.
“I’m very proud and happy of the work we’ve done [through the Jersey Homes Trust], but the sad part is that now there’s an even bigger housing crisis now than there was then," he reflected.
Mr Van Neste admitted to Express that he was initially shocked when he found out he was being awarded an MBE.
“The Lieutenant Governor’s call took me completely by surprise!" he recalled.
"He was very charming and I am just delighted that the work that I’ve done alongside my trustees is being recognised.
“I believe that it’s particularly poignant that this award will hopefully draw attention to the absolute importance of housing during this time of a housing crisis.”
Michael Van Neste previously shared his thoughts on the housing crisis and what he felt needed to change in an interview for the Bailiwick Podcast...
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