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Govt urged to take human rights approach to house building

Government urged to take a human rights approach to building housing

The Government can save months of work and duplication by using the community housing sector’s blueprint for a new national housing strategy, Community Housing Aotearoa says.

Community Housing Aotearoa, the representative body for New Zealand’s community housing sector, welcomes the Government’s Housing Stocktake Report highlighting the challenges the housing sector faces.

Chief Executive Scott Figenshow says the stocktake is an essential part of a genuinely transformational approach to solving our housing crisis. “It confirms that the scale of the challenge is large, and confirms that we need long-term and bold actions. It lays out the broad range of challenges ahead.

“What would be transformational is to base building housing stock on the Housing First model. Housing First places its client in a home and wraps services around that person – welfare, childcare, mental health support – enabling them to remain well-housed."

Scott Figenshow says that concept can be developed by working with property developers, infrastructure, green building ideals, prefabricated buildings, designers and architects to create an environment and homes that New Zealanders will be proud to call home.

Community Housing Aotearoa says a lot of the work has already been done for the Government.

“We continue to offer Government and our sector colleagues the document Our Place which contains the foundations for the new national housing strategy, based on a human rights approach. They can save months by using what has already been agreed.”

Scott Figenshow says not-for profit community organisations need significant levels of investment in order to provide more housing, both now and in the future.

“We understand the pressure is on to provide quick solutions. However, we need to scale-up building homes that are fit for purpose and meet the human rights based approach. We also need to ensure that building stock compounds year after year, in order to meet the levels of housing stock urgently required,” he says.

Community housing providers can play a key role in delivering solutions for all those who need it, he says, and the sector looks forward to working with the Government to achieve their goals.


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