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Department of Building and Housing,
A report on social housing in New Zealand has found the current model will struggle to meet future demands.
The report, Home and Housed: A Vision for Social Housing in New Zealand, was compiled by the Housing Shareholders’ Advisory Group. The Group was set up in February by the Ministers of Finance and Housing to provide independent advice to the Government on the effective and efficient delivery of state housing to those most in need.
The seven-member group was chaired by Dr Alan Jackson, former senior vice president in the Auckland office of The Boston Consulting Group and a director of Fletcher Building.
The members, who were selected on the basis of their experience in housing, social services, and the investment community, were Major Campbell Roberts (Salvation Army), Diane Robertson (Auckland City Mission), Andrew Body (investment banker), Brian Donnelly (New Zealand Housing Foundation), Paul White (iwi development advisor) and Martin Udale (property consultant).
Dr Jackson says the Group found significant issues around the provision of housing and its ability to match current and future tenants’ needs, the current model’s capacity to respond to these needs, and constraints on Crown expenditure.
"The environment is rapidly changing. New Zealand faces a growing shortage of affordable homes which in turn is causing problems in social and state housing.
“Increasingly there are a number of people who are most in need of state housing who are not getting it when and where they need it. Family and household types are changing and state housing is often in the wrong place, of the wrong type and the wrong quality to meet people’s needs,” he said.
“New Zealand is lucky in that our social housing system is better positioned than that in many countries. However, it is under increasing pressure and the current system does not have the flexibility to deal with this.
“There is no one magic bullet but one of the things missing in New Zealand, compared to overseas, is a substantial level of third party provision of social housing. We have a model of state housing that hasn’t changed greatly from the 1940s so there aren’t the options available to meet the variety of needs now and to help people move from state housing to home ownership.
“Simply, we think we need a new approach. To provide more housing options for people we need more providers. For example, this means developing community sector participation in new ways.”
The Group spent three months identifying issues and areas for improvement in developing its report. It has made 19 recommendations it believes will help ensure New Zealanders and their families have access to state and affordable housing in the future.
Dr Jackson said the Government had asked the Group to discuss their findings and recommendations with key stakeholders in the wider sector before it will consider making any decisions on the report.
The Group will now engage with the wider sector over the next six weeks and report back to the Government on that process later in the year.
To view a copy of the report, terms of reference or profiles of the members of the Housing Shareholders' Advisory Group visit: http://www.dbh.govt.nz/vision-for-social-housing-nz
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