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Extend the Social Housing Fund To 20% by 2020

18 December 2013

Extend the Social Housing Fund To 20% by 2020

Community Housing Aotearoa’s Knowledge Base project has completed a survey of its 65 members which confirming that 21 developments across New Zealand totalling 420 new social and affordable homes are ready to proceed, yet an additional $46M is needed just to proceed with these developments. “This exceeds the remaining $17M of the current Social Housing Fund allocation by nearly three-fold”, reported CHA Director, Scott Figenshow. “This confirms that the sector has shown it can deliver at a rate well beyond expectations.”

In just 18 months, since July 2012 the current Social Housing Fund has committed all but $17M of its second tranche of $104.1M, in virtually half the time compared with the three years originally planned, according data provided by the Social Housing Unit. “This is potentially a good news story- but only if the original commitment to a full 3 years of funding remains true. Our sector has done what was asked of it. Now it's government's turn,” said CHA Co-Chair Warren Jack.

CHA proposes that the 2014 budget should include a new, six-year commitment of $80M per year- a total of $480M- to move closer toward the current housing reform target of 20% delivery by the Community Housing sector by 2020. The 4800 homes that this proposal will generate falls short of the 7000 homes required for the 20% target, yet it is matched to today’s capacity.

To date, the Fund’s investments since 2011 have resulted in 774 new social and affordable homes for New Zealanders. Working with the Social Housing Unit, the Community Housing sector has stepped up and delivered private and community capital with a leverage of between $1 and $2 for every $1 of government investment, and has done so in half the time anticipated at the launch of the Fund.

“CHO’s invest significant funds in putting together new schemes and have programmed their developments to the promised three-year time frame. They face loss of those funds and potential damage to their local reputation if funding is curtailed 18 months earlier than programmed,” said CHA Treasurer Keith Preston. “We have planned our development programme and urge Government to do the same to honor its commitments.”

A long term housing strategy, including funding allocations, is needed and should be a key priority of the Government,” said CHA Co-chair Alison Cadman. “Housing Minister Nick Smith’s 20% target is a fine interim goal of the reform programme- but won’t be achieved unless the resources are there to deliver it.”

ENDS

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