“The report sets out two key aspects – reform of the Accommodation Supplement and investment in assisted homeownership is essential to restoring long term sustainable housing policy,” says Chris Glaudel, Acting Chief Executive.
Government needs to deliver targeted equity to modest income households who are currently locked out from homeownership. A new government bureaucracy is not needed to do this. Community Housing Providers have a proven track record delivering assisted home ownership – through rent to buy and shared ownership programmes. There are over 800 families who have been assisted into homeownership by Community Housing Providers, and they are ready to scale up to assist thousands more families when the right settings are in place.
A regulatory authority already exists and can oversee the implementation by Community Housing Providers. A creative new use of the existing spend on Accommodation Supplement can provide the funds. The equity invested will be held by the non-profit providers, ensuring retention and recycling into additional homes as families progress to full ownership. We can do this now.
The ‘Beyond Renting’ report also makes the point about the need for genuine long term housing policy. CHA believes this can only be assured by cross party agreement through a New Zealand Housing Strategy. New Zealanders can’t afford the flip flop that has resulted in spiraling housing costs and rising homelessness.
We call on the new Ministry of Housing and Urban Development to take up the challenge of an open, national discussion set out by the report. This is an opportunity for government to partner with iwi and the not-for-profit community housing sector, and not go it alone.