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Government Challenged to Get Low-Income Kiwis into Homes

Tuesday 23rd April

Government Challenged to Build on Proven Success to Get Low-Income Kiwis into Their Own Homes

More New Zealanders could be owning their own home if only the Government adopted and scaled up hugely successful non-government homeownership programmes says The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, New Zealand Housing Foundation and Community Housing Aotearoa.

KiwiBuy is a campaign to convince the Government to adopt and fund the range of shared equity and rent to buy programmes run by community housing providers.

KiwiBuy campaign director Campbell Roberts said “Three families each week move into new homes, built for them by community housing providers. They affordably purchase these houses through schemes that assist families in buying their own home progressively. The numbers are small at present, but if Government adopt these schemes for their programmes and also funds community organisations to scale up their operations, many more Kiwi families could be in their own home in the next five years.”

“Getting into your own home in NZ is a complicated business. High-income households often have resources and support that assists them to achieve homeownership. However, for lower-income families, it is far more challenging. Community Housing Providers bridge the gap by providing supports as part of their house building operations, including financial planning, ownership education and ongoing homeowner support and mentoring. “

Everyday community providers and see families facing significant hardships because of housing stress. Overcrowding causes relationship stress; high housing cost causes debt, and poor quality housing causes poor health. “ We are hugely frustrated because more families could be moved from this hardship if the Government moved to adopt and scale up some of the programmes currently getting Kiwis into homes of their own.

While the Government says they love our schemes of Rent to Buy and Shared Equity they still seem to be dragging the chain in adopting or helping to scale up progressive ownership programmes.

Community housing providers note the Government's Kiwibuild is struggling for success. Houses are not produced in the numbers required and in high housing cost areas of New Zealand are too expensive for families with incomes under $90,000. If the Government placed some of their Kiwibuild houses with community housing providers, their shared equity and rent to Buy schemes would see families with incomes over $50,00 in homes of their own.

Those housing organisations running the KiwiBuy campaign include Community Housing Aotearoa, The New Zealand Housing Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, and The Salvation Army.


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