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First housing partnerships signed

23 July 2004 Media Statement

First housing partnerships signed

Six housing partnerships worth $3.2 million were announced today by Acting Housing Minister Rick Barker.

The projects are the first proposals accepted by the Government’s $63 million Housing Innovation Fund which was announced as part of Budget 2003. The Fund was established to encourage third sector groups (not-for-profit, non-government community), iwi/Maori organisations and local government to increase their involvement in providing rental housing and home ownership opportunities for low-income earners and people with special needs.

Rick Barker said the first six projects would provide housing for more than 41 people living in Ponsonby, Manurewa, New Plymouth, Rotorua, Hamilton and Palmerston North.

“Community groups, churches and local government have long played an important role in social housing provision and, with the new funding, the government would like to work with a wider range of organisations to increase the range and number.

“The real value of working in partnership with like-minded community-based organisations is that both they and the government can leverage off each others capital and expertise to realise specialist projects that would otherwise go unbuilt.

“It’s also going to take some time to replace the 13,000 state houses sold during the 1990s – although we have already added 4,200 homes to HNZC’s stock since 1999.”

The six organisations receiving funding totalling $3,262,257 are:
- Community of Refuge Trust, Auckland – purchase of about five one or two-bedroom units in central Auckland for mental health consumers and people in need;
- Te Roopu Taurima O Manukau, Auckland – building a six-bedroom home in Manurewa for Maori with intellectual and/or physical disability;
- Barrett Homes, New Plymouth – building five new units for physically disabled young people;
- Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust, Rotorua – building five two-bedroom units for Ngati Whakaue kaumatua;
- Abbeyfield New Zealand Incorporated, Hamilton – building a 10-unit complex for older people; and
- Lutheran Homes, Palmerston North – building five one-bedroom units for older people.

“HNZC will continue to assist these first groups with advice as their projects progress. It is also assisting a number of other third sector groups with feasibility and development advice, so they too can get similar projects off the ground.

“We have also had a positive response from local authorities. The Corporation is currently working with seven councils on proposals for loans from the parallel Local Government Housing Fund to develop new housing initiatives,” Rick Barker said.

ENDS

A fact sheet is attached. Further information on the Housing Innovation Fund and Local Government Housing Fund is available on-line at www.hnzc.co.nz.

Background

In Budget 2003, the government announced new funding of $63 million over four years for third sector and local government housing initiatives. The funding will be used in two separate initiatives – the Housing Innovation Fund for third sector partnerships, and the Local Government Housing Fund for local authorities.

The Government acknowledges it cannot meet the demand for social housing on its own. The funding is intended to encourage third sector (not-for-profit, non-government community, church), and Maori/iwi organisations to increase their existing and future involvement in providing affordable housing options for people on low incomes or with special needs.

The funding will be allocated amongst the two initiatives each year, depending on priorities.

Both initiatives are administered by Housing New Zealand Corporation (HNZC), which also provides community based organisations and local councils with specialist advice – such as feasibility and development studies – for potential projects that may be eligible for funding.

Proposals accepted for funding:

- Barrett Homes Trust, New Plymouth
Barrett Homes Trust provides housing for six physically disabled young people living independently in New Plymouth. The Trust took out a commercial loan earlier this year to build and furbish five new units specifically designed to meet the needs of physically disabled people. The Trust is accessing grants/loans through the Fund totaling $455,000 to help cover the cost of the new units. The Trust anticipates that the units will be completed in July 2004.

- Abbeyfield New Zealand Incorporated, Hamilton
Abbeyfield New Zealand is a charitable, volunteer based housing body providing family-style housing for older people. Their intention is to build a complex of 10 studio units for older people on low incomes in Hamilton, with $1,237,500 from the Fund.

- Lutheran Homes Trust Board, Palmerston North
The Lutheran Homes Trust Board is a charitable trust established by members of the St Luke’s Lutheran Church in Palmerston North. The Trust currently provides 29 self-contained rental units for older people. The Trust intend to build an additional five one-bedroom units. The Trust is accessing $294,757 through the Fund.

- Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust, Rotorua
The Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust is an iwi based organisation that represents Ngati Whakaue. The Trust is involved in property development on behalf of Ngati Whakaue, and social housing is an exciting new role for them. The Trust plan to build five two-bedroom units to house Ngati Whakaue kaumatua, with $85,000 from the Fund and the balance as a loan from HNZC.

- Te Roopu Taurima O Manukau, Auckland
Te Roopu Taurima o Manukau is a charitable organisation that provides health and disability services to Maori with intellectual disabilities. It operates in a number of locations around the country. Te Roopu o Taurima o Manukau intend to build a six-bedroom house in Manurewa, Auckland, for Maori with a high degree of physical and intellectual disability. The group is accessing $340,000 through the Fund.

- Community of Refuge Trust, Auckland
The Community of Refuge Trust is a subsidiary of the Ponsonby Baptist Church and is based in central Auckland. The Trust provides low-cost housing for those in need, including some with mental health issues. The Trust is accessing $850,000 through the Fund to enable them to invest in about five one or two-bedroom units in central Auckland.

ENDS

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