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Affordable Housing Efforts Welcomed

Affordable Housing Efforts Welcomed

The Nelson Tasman Housing Trust is applauding significant moves to improve Nelson¹s affordable housing problem.

Trust spokesperson Ian Kilgour said the Nelson City Council's approval of its Community Housing Asset Plan came on the back of last week¹s release of the Report on Affordable Housing commissioned by the Centre for Housing Research. He said Nelson was chosen for this extensive research project because it experienced the worst affordability crisis in the country, with house prices rising 70% between 2002 and 2004.

"Government has recognised the positive responses of the local community and the Council in tackling the housing problem. Housing Innovation Fund money has been attracted to this region through the Housing Trust and through Abbeyfield¹s partnership with Nelson City Council to build the proposed Mata Close community house," he said. "This development and the council¹s plans to upgrade Orchard Flats and Blackwood Street bed-sits demonstrates to us the council support of community housing."

Captain Kilgour said Affordable Housing Research identifies 25 practical solutions to improve affordability, many of which involve facilitation or action by the two local councils.

"We look forward to working constructively with them and the co-ordinator appointed by the government to instigate some of these initiatives," he said. "The trust believes that housing is too important to be left to the vagaries of market forces, and sees the need for a strategic approach.

"We realise councils may not want to get into further direct provision of housing, but much can be achieved through facilitation to help find creative solutions to the housing problems people are facing. This issue is also about the economic growth of our region and the housing needs that will continue to increase as our population grows."

Ends

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