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Tackling Substandard Housing

May 9 2002
Budget 2002

The Government today announced $53.3 million in extra funding to tackle substandard housing in Northland, East Coast and the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

Housing Minister Mark Gosche said the money would be used to provide 500 affordable rental homes over the next four years for families currently living in derelict or makeshift dwellings.

“About 290 of the 500 homes will be new state houses. The rest are expected to come from concessionary loans to iwi and other community groups which will help them build up their own portfolios of low cost rental and rent-to-buy houses,” said Mr Gosche.

Associate Minister Tariana Turia said the total package provides funding of $53.34 million, including capital funding of $47.56 million.

“This government is determined to eradicate substandard housing. This substantial package shows how serious we are about achieving that goal. With this new funding, the Government’s commitment to tackling substandard housing in Northland, East Coast and the Eastern Bay of Plenty exceeds $115 million.”

Late last year approximately 1500 houses in these areas were surveyed to assess the level of substandard housing.

“Based on these assessments, an estimated 600 new dwellings are required. Housing New Zealand is already expecting to acquire 100 new homes this financial year. This new funding will enable the balance of 500 to be added over four years,” said Mr Gosche.

About 300 of the extra houses are expected to be in Northland, 200 in Eastern Bay of Plenty and 100 on the East Coast.

In January the government announced a $7.5 million injection to assist home owners in Northland, East Cape and Eastern Bay of Plenty to undertake essential repairs to their rundown homes.

“Alongside these initiatives, funding is urgently required so that families living in temporary shelter, or dwellings beyond repair, can be rehoused. This latest funding will allow that to happen.”

The Ministers said they expected the housing package to also generate local economic benefits through increased local employment and trades training opportunities.

The funding will include loans for joint venture housing projects, with Housing New Zealand providing capital, and the joint venture partner meeting land, labour and other costs. In this way costs and risks are shared between the community, the government and voluntary sector.

The funding will also provide incentives for local designers to develop innovative low-cost housing that can be built by local people, Mr Gosche said.

“New designs or building systems that show merit can then be used in Housing New Zealand’s building programme, or promoted to those wanting to build their own home.

“We recognise that there are no ‘quick fix’ answers to the problem of substandard housing. We are using a mix of solutions to tackle the problem of substandard housing: more state houses, helping iwi and communities acquire their own rental housing and encouraging third sector investment in rural housing.”


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