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Conference focused on moving needle to end housing crisis

Media release

Conference focused on moving needle to end housing crisis


Ending homelessness and ensuring all New Zealanders are well housed are among the topics being put under the spotlight at the upcoming Community Housing Aotearoa IMPACT conference.

More than 200 people from community and social housing, the development community, government and local government will be attending the 2017 CHA IMPACT conference, which is being held June 7 to 9 at Te Papa in Wellington.

CHA Director Scott Figenshow says the conference will centre on the way delegates and their organisations can contribute to achieving the vision of “all New Zealanders being well housed”.

“This is an opportunity to have a collective impact on the housing situation as many of the key players in social and affordable housing will be coming together to be part of the solution to improve housing outcomes for all New Zealanders.

“These organisations are committed to finding solutions that identify what is required to significantly move the needle towards ending the housing crisis we’re experiencing.”

He says one of the outcomes wanted from the conference is agreeing an action plan for Our Place on the growth and sustainability of affordable housing.

“We’ve invited some key speakers to help us develop this action plan and to learn from their experiences in addressing homelessness and increasing the supply of affordable housing.

“The current environment presents many opportunities and poses many challenges to community housing providers – not least the uncertain and changing policy settings.”

Community housing providers are reporting that the issue is getting bigger, with more households unable to transition from social rental to affordable rental and home ownership, he says.

“Supplying more homes is part of the solution but we are not seeing enough supply of genuinely affordable homes, of varying sizes that meet household needs today and in the future.

“We need to look at how we create an environment that supports providers to grow sufficiently to meet these challenges going forward.”

Scott Figenshow says the link between well housed and well-being is well known.

“We want to take the link between well housed and well-being one step further and see how well-being economics can get us beyond the fiscal economic barriers that limit the current responses to housing.

“Girol Karacaoglu, Victoria University of Wellington; David Rutherford, Human Rights Commissioner and Hurimoana Nui Dennis, Te Puea Memorial Marae; will help us with this on day one of the conference.

“Community housing providers say New Zealand’s housing issues will not be addressed until the right tools to increase social and affordable homes are put in place. We’ve seen some positive changes in the last year – now we need to take the next step.”

Key note speakers include:

United States’ Nan Roman has a deep understanding of international approaches that have proven effective in reducing homelessness. As well as speaking at the conference, she also plans to use her time in New Zealand to meet with political, community and philanthropic leaders to support New Zealand’s efforts to end homelessness.

National Affordable Housing Consortium, Mike Myers will present some of the lessons he’s learned working in Australia, and discuss what this might means for New Zealand and the capacity of the New Zealand community housing sector to respond to housing demand.

Louise Crabtree, Western Sydney University, will be presenting again at this conference having presented at the CHA-IMPACT 2015 event. She is an Australasian expert on land trusts.

MSD’s Director of Housing, Scott Gallacher, will be attending to help unpack what New Zealands social and affordable housing will look like in the future.

Lead sector researcher, Kay Saville Smith of CRESA, will be looking at procurement capacity in the community housing sector and what that might mean for community housing providers.More information on speakers, media registration and the programme can be found here.

Scott Figenshow says CHA was grateful to those organisations that had made this conference possible through sponsorship.

[ends]

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