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Trust to address lack of affordable housing

27 April 2005

Trust to address lack of affordable housing in Nelson

A new Housing Trust launched today will help to address the shortage of affordable housing in Nelson, Housing Minister Steve Maharey said.

Speaking at the launch of the Nelson Tasman Housing Trust, Steve Maharey said the community-based initiative was an important step towards a more stable housing sector in the region.

"In recent years we have seen increasing pressures on the housing market in Nelson," Steve Maharey said.

"The Trust is setting out to provide more affordable housing so that people who are otherwise priced out of the private market, or are not eligible for government housing, have access to adequate, affordable homes."

Steve Maharey said a third, community-based housing sector was relatively new in New Zealand, but had significant potential to grow into a self-sustaining source of affordable accommodation.

The government supported the Trust during its establishment phase through the Housing innovation Fund delivered by Housing new Zealand, and would continue to work alongside the Trust to ensure Nelson's housing needs were being addressed.

Since its incorporation last year, the Trust has also had significant support from three local funders – the Canterbury Community Trust, the Fifeshire Foundation, and Port Nelson.

Steve Maharey said the New Zealand Housing Strategy – to be released next week – would recognise the potential of groups like the Trust.

"The New Zealand Housing Strategy will set the direction of government housing policy for the next decade. The strategy recognises that often it is local people – like the people involved in the Nelson Tasman Housing Trust – that are best equipped to address the housing needs of their communities."

The launch of the Trust follows an announcement last month from Steve Maharey and Economic Development Minister Jim Anderston that the government would invest over $200,000 to fund research into how to ease pressures on the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough housing markets.

ENDS

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