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Ngā Wharerau O Aotearoa acknowledges the Government’s response to the Independent review of Kāinga Ora.

Chris Glaudel, Deputy Chief Executive of Community Housing Aotearoa, sees the announcement as a step towards addressing New Zealand’s high and rising levels of homelessness by improving our approach and system to delivering affordable homes.

New Zealand now has one of the highest rates of homelessness in the developed world. We need more new homes that offer a range of housing typologies and tenures to better match community needs. This is a step in the right direction to seeing all New Zealanders well-housed.

We’re heartened to hear of the government’s intentions to apply a place-based approach and prioritise areas that have high persistent unmet housing needs. This will make a huge difference for whānau and individuals in those areas and help address the real issues of rental housing affordability and homelessness.

Importantly we expect this place-based approach will enable Māori community housing providers to exercise mātauranga Māori and plan and deliver housing solutions that are right for them. This is an essential step in getting housing planning and delivery right in these areas. The case studies in the report highlight how this has succeeded in Heretaunga and Tairāwhiti.

We are concerned about the recommendation to set up new Community Housing Associations as Crown companies. This has the potential to re-create the blurred roles and responsibilities discussed in the report. Community Housing Providers are already in place, regulated by the Community Housing Regulatory Authority and ready to work with mana whenua, local councils and other community organisations to meet the housing needs in a place-based approach.

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Our members are experienced, regulated and have long standing records of delivering warm, safe and secure housing across the country. They can provide much needed affordable, sustainable housing especially in priority areas with the greatest persistent unmet housing needs and retain and recycle any public investment to benefit future generations.

Community Housing Aotearoa welcomes the report’s discussion of how to create a better social housing system. A National Housing Strategy is needed to provide the long-term legislative and funding certainty required to improve our housing outcomes across all tenures and levels of affordability. Kāinga Ora has an important role in the housing system and we believe there is still a need for a strong housing build programme that includes both Kāinga Ora and Community Housing Providers. Establishing a level playing field with outcomes-based settings will ensure we are delivering good social returns on the public funds invested.

Focussing on community and tenant outcomes is key to ensuring government investment improves lives. Providing pathways out of social housing for families is key to reducing costs and meeting aspirations toward ownership. Community providers already deliver affordable rentals and pathways to home ownership. New policy settings can speed up building new homes and create clear pathways to better outcomes. Our members have a wealth of knowledge and vast experience delivering housing across the country. We look forward to working with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development to create an enduring and well-functioning housing system.

About Community Housing Aotearoa

Our 80 provider members own or manage homes for nearly 35,000 kiwis nationally across 19,300 homes, and our 59 partner members include developers, consultants, and local councils working to meet the needs of all peoples in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We believe all New Zealanders have the right to a decent home. A home that is affordable, secure, habitable, is near schools, transport and services and is culturally adequate. The Government’s announcement signals new opportunities for communities to deliver better housing outcomes.

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