Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Up-front funding for public housing

Community Housing Providers (CHP) will be able to access up-front funding to boost the pace of public housing builds, Housing Minister, Megan Woods, has announced following a roundtable of CHP leaders in Wellington last night.

“Early stage funding brings forward some of the money Government already provides to CHPs over the course of a 25-year contract, so they can access it cover up-front costs associated with  new build projects,” Minister Woods said.

“It will be of particular benefit to newer, smaller CHPs who may lack the asset base to secure funding to get new builds going.

“I want to make sure the timing of government payments best matches the requirements of each project on a case-by-case basis. This ensures access to funding doesn’t delay the development of new housing.

“This has been a simple request from the sector that will make a difference to the number of new builds CHPs can bring on.

“By front loading payments we can help more new builds get underway while still providing the same level of support to the CHP that we would over the lifetime of the project.

“We’re committed to using all the available levers we can to get more housing built. That’s why we’re taking a refreshed ‘progressive partnership’ approach with Community Housing Providers with a key focus on ‘building rather than buying’ and by providing greater funding flexibility we’re helping maintain a strong pipeline of new homes, now and into the future,” Dr Woods said.

Associate Minister of Housing (Māori Housing), Peeni Henare said greater funding flexibility could be of interest to Māori and Iwi Community Housing Providers as a pathway to enabling growth in their organisations.

There are currently 18 Maori CHPs, or almost one third of the national total of 60, the Minister said.

“A kaupapa Māori approach is crucial to addressing the housing crisis. The Government’s partnership with Māori CHPs underpins our place based and MAIHI approach to identify and prioritise the delivery of public housing and to deliver solutions that meet the immediate and long-term needs of whānau and communities in locations with highest need,” Mr Henare said.

“The housing crisis won’t be solved overnight, and it can’t be fixed by the Government alone. It requires the mahi of many stakeholders and the progressive partnership between the Government and CHPs will ensure that CHPs continue to play a key role,” Dr Woods says.

“CHPs have an integral role to play in delivering public housing and often bring strong community connections, knowledge and expertise in delivering housing for New Zealanders in need. The government has made a number of changes to settings to enable CHPs to bring on new public housing supply and remains committed to working with the sector to improve housing outcomes for New Zealanders.”

CHPs and Kainga Ora have delivered an extra 8,000 warm, dry public housing places since November 2017 taking total public housing places to 74,337. Of these, 6503 households are living in brand new homes. The total public and transitional housing funding provided to CHPs since November 2017 has more than tripled and as at March 2021 was $1.05 billion.

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