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16.4m more for council and community-based housing

16 May 2006 Media Statement

Budget 2006: $16.4m more for council and community-based housing

Housing Minister Chris Carter today announced a $16.4m increase in funding for new and renovated houses provided by local councils and community organisations.

"This funding is part of a focus by the Labour-Progressive government on forming partnerships with local government and community groups to deliver vital public infrastructure - in this case housing," Mr Carter said.

"Numerous councils, charitable trusts and community organisations throughout the country already maintain social housing that is in need of upgrading or reconfiguring to make it more effective. Many organisations also own land on which they could put new social housing, and others are interested in purchasing land and providing social housing for the first time.

"Through partnerships we can enhance the pool of social housing in the community in a more efficient and cost effective manner for the taxpayer because we are combining state and community resources.

"In 2002 the Labour-Progressive government established the Housing Innovation Fund to provide capacity building grants to organisations interested in entering social housing, and loan finance to assist new and existing providers with construction or renovation," Mr Carter said.

"As part of Budget 2006 the government will extend the Housing Innovation Fund’s four-year demonstration project by another year, providing $4.4m of operating funding and $12m capital for loans in 2007/08.The increase will be resourced through reprioritisations within Vote Housing.

"The announcement today of a $1.3m loan from the Housing Innovation Fund to the Friendship Centre Trust in Auckland is an example of what can be achieved by the Fund," Mr Carter said.

"The loan will contribute towards the funding required to build five new homes for low-income and sole parent families in Waitakere City. The two twin-bedroom and three-bedroom homes will be the first long-term supported homes offered by the Friendship Centre Trust."

ENDS

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