The Government is providing an additional $30 million of operating spending in Budget 2014 to help the community housing sector provide homes for high-need families.
The community housing sector will be able to help hundreds more high-need New Zealand families get access to a warm, dry, affordable home.
This initiative is part of the Government’s social housing reforms and our plan to grow the community housing sector.
We are achieving this through grants from the Social Housing Fund that began in November 2011, through access to the income-related rent subsidy that started last month, and from asset transfers from Housing New Zealand beginning this year.
The Social Housing Fund was established in 2011 with an initial one-year budget for 2011-2012, and was boosted in Budget 2012 with funding for 2012-2013, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. Budget 2014 provides ongoing funding of $10 million a year for 2015-2016, 2016-2017 and 2017-2018.
The $30 million boost is in addition to $77.5 million of new operating funding and $18.2 million of new capital funding for improved assistance to social housing tenants announced by the Minister for Social Development.
The community housing sector has an important role to play in New Zealand’s housing challenges. It can provide wraparound social services alongside housing support, it has a better record than public providers in consistently managing the quality of housing, and it can achieve better value for money across more houses.
This latest boost to the social housing fund is part of the Government’s wider housing programme. Our work to improve affordability is increasing land supply and productivity, while reducing development contributions, building material costs and compliance costs. We are also investing heavily in reconfiguring and improving Housing New Zealand’s homes.
Dr Nick Smith is Housing Minister of New Zealand.