CHA Media Release: Wednesday 7 March 2012
Chasm between Social Housing Fund and sector vividly apparent
The recent social housing fund, which is in the process of being allocated by the Social Housing Unit (SHU), has been oversubscribed by four and a half times over, frustrating non-government housing organisations says Community Housing Aotearoa, New Zealand’s umbrella group for the community housing sector.
In an update from the SHU yesterday, it stated that there were 94 applications from housing providers to the recent social housing fund and that the total funding sought from applicants was around $171 million. This compares with the total $37.35 million available in government grants towards the provision of non-government social and affordable housing during this round of funding.
“From a community housing sector point of view this news represents an opportunity lost in that it demonstrates once again, that the total quantum of government funding available to providers of non-government social housing is inadequate to meet the capacity of community housing organisations across the country” says David McCartney, Executive Officer Community Housing Aotearoa.
“At a time when CHA members report the demand for social and affordable housing is ever increasing, if we assume each of the 94 applications offered at least a 50% capital contribution as per the requirements for the ‘Niche’, ‘Maori’ and ‘Rural’ funds it’s clear that capacity exists right now for at least $340 million worth of new housing - if only the government would match the community housing sector offering.
“Even if you do the sums at a relatively high average total cost per build of $350K, it equates to nearly one thousand new houses that could have been built by third sector organisations over the next year”.