​Community Housing Providers’ home building flatlines

Mar 14, 2019 | News

Housing numbers for the not-for-profit community housing sector in 2018 show little if any increase over those in 2017. Figurers from Auckland housing network members show a net increase of 57 new housing places including an increase of only 47 new builds.

“The current funding arrangement just don’t work for many providers. The groups that have got deals across the line will reach a point where growth will be constrained. We need a real commitment by government to re-introduce adequate capital funding alongside long-term operational contracts,” says ACHPN chair Hope Simonsen.

The Auckland Community Housing Providers Network consists of 20 community housing providers (CHPs) including many of the biggest CHPs in New Zealand. Members include Accessible Properties, Salvation Army, Lifewise / Airedale Property Trust, Housing Foundation and CORT Community Housing[1].

At a time of growing waiting lists and high housing need, it’s of real concern that the number of affordable homes supplied by not-for-profit community housing groups is not increasing.

Currently the housing register (waiting list) for public houses in Auckland is 4,818 and grew by 1,665 over the last year[2].The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Phil Twyford announced in 2018 that Government will build at least 6,400 new public houses by June 2022, and that he wanted CHPs to build about a third of these.

Peter Jeffries from CORT Community Housing says “Previously CORT had a development pipe line of approximately 150 new homes. Since changes were made to funding, new projects in the pipeline have dwindled to around 20 new homes. It is really disappointing that at a time when we should be scaling up to deliver 200 new homes a year, things have ground almost to a halt. We really want to be involved in providing a solution to our city’s housing shortage. We certainly have the experience and expertise to build quality new homes.”

Ms. Simonsen commented that, “Community Housing Providers offer a unique opportunity to increase the provision of affordable homes and to create great places to live. We want to do this in partnership with government but the attempts to date have not resulted in a programme that delivers results at the scale required.”

Community Housing Providers are independent not for profit organisations that provide a range of low cost affordable (below market levels) homes that respond to the needs of local communities. In Auckland they already house 13,000 people across 5,600 homes, from renting to shared and full home ownership. In New Zealand and internationally CHPs have a successful record of developing inclusive, diverse and well supported communities.

This data is from providers’ quarterly reporting provided to MSD/MHUD and supported by Community Housing Aotearoa’s Supply Survey project.

[1] See website for full information on ACHPN members at: http://www.achpn.net.nz/

[2] Data from provider Housing Quarterly reports Sept 2017 and Sept 2018

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