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“Dear Prime Minister, help Kiwis own their home”

Community Organisations: “Dear Prime Minister, help Kiwis own their home”

The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Housing Foundation and Community Housing Aotearoa are urging Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to prioritise children and our future as her Ministers ‘reset’ the government housing agenda.

“Kiwibuild was a good idea, but its delivery still left home ownership out of reach for most people” said the Salvation Army’s Campbell Roberts. “New Zealanders wanted Kiwibuild to help ordinary families into a home.”

The upcoming reset of the government’s housing programme is a chance to think bigger than Kiwibuild and the government should take the time to get it right, say the organisations promoting the affordable home ownership initiative KiwiBuy. “This reset is a once in a lifetime chance to ‘reset’ the social disaster of inadequate and unaffordable housing in our country” said Roberts.

“In Auckland’s new government-built neighbourhoods, families need incomes of more than $90,000 to own a home” said Roberts. “We have a housing crisis in our country. It is unacceptable that families with children earning up to $90,000 are stuck renting for the rest of their lives.”

“The housing reset must lead the way towards a comprehensive solution for New Zealand’s housing crisis” said Roberts. “It should take a generational view, and include more social housing, better rental housing, and more pathways to home ownership” said Roberts.

The organisations recommend the reset:

1. Establish a national home ownership target
Establish a target of 75% of Kiwis owning their own home in the next 25 years, with additional targets for some groups (e.g. Mâori, Pasifika, and people with disabilities)
2. Continue the Government-led build programme
Continue and improve the large scale building of quality homes, with a focus on home ownership that is affordable for Kiwi families on average incomes
3. Implement KiwiBuy
Provide finance for affordable home ownership solutions delivered by Community Housing Providers, state housing agencies and the private sector, including Progressive Home Ownership (rent to buy), Shared Equity, and other solutions
4. Offer shelter to all those experiencing housing hardship
Commit to reducing the social housing waitlist below 1,000 families by 2025, starting with additional public housing by Community Housing Providers, state housing, and local authorities
5. Support renting households to move along the housing continuum
Any Government programme for renters, such as ‘Build to Rent’, provides an opportunity for eligible households to buy their home, e.g. through KiwiBuy’s Progressive Home Ownership

Over the last six months, thousands of New Zealand families have flocked to KiwiBuy, sharing their anger and frustration on social media and the campaign’s website. “KiwiBuy has been overwhelmed with enquiries,” said Roberts. “They all say the same thing - despite earning a good wage, we can’t afford a house of our own.”

“We think being able to buy your own home on an average wage is a reasonable request” said Roberts. “Solutions like shared ownership and rent to buy must be made more available.”

“The children in these families are our future. They deserve secure housing” said Roberts. “The government should take the time to get this right.”

ENDS


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