Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Putting a roof over Pacific peoples

Pacific peoples in Aotearoa are on the road to achieving home ownership, one year after the launch of the Pacific Financial Capability Development programme, the Minister for Pacific Peoples said today.

“We successfully secured funding of up to $41.315 million over four years for the Pacific Housing Initiative in Budget 2020 and we can now offer access to a financial capability programme,” said Minister Aupito William Sio.

This programme will  increase the financial capability of  Pacific families and individuals to own their own homes, he said.

“The launch of the programme in February 2021 was a first step towards providing initiatives to strengthen the financial management knowledge and skills of Pacific families and communities, while supporting them to save towards home ownership.”

In June last year,15 organisations specialising in budgeting and financial services were contracted to support over 1,000 Pacific people who had enrolled in the programme.

The goal is to have over 3,000 people through the programme and more than 100 people moving into their new homes within 12 months of starting the service, the Minister said.

“Already, 42 families have achieved home ownership goals – 10 families have homes saved from mortgagee sales and 32 have purchased new homes,” he said.

“Families who did not believe they could buy a house are moving to new homes and more than 50 per cent of participants have been placed on homeownership plans.

“This shows we are moving in the right direction to improve Pacific homeownership rates. In 2017, Pacific home ownership rates was 18% and now it currently sits at 21%.”

He said more than 95% of participants had received financial literacy training, while more than 70% have received support to save, budget and manage their debt.

“Our providers are telling us families are learning to manage their debt, budgeting and saving towards buying a house, which shows how effective this programme is,” said Minister Sio.  

“This financial capability service embodies Pacific cultural values and recognises Pacific communities as leaders and the owners of wellbeing and culture, it is family-centred, and enables Pacific communities to lead their own solutions.

“Giving Pacific people the tools to achieve home ownership empowers our communities to live prosperously is one of our overarching goals,” he said.

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