What do we say? We’ll start with the positives. CHA applauds the government for allocating $75m to assist Christchurch to rebuild its housing. But we already knew that.
We are all disappointed that this budget seems to have missed several opportunities. Are there more announcements coming? Perhaps if there are, then what we know isn’t so bleak:
• $30m over three years (2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018) allocated to the Social Housing Fund. With the first allocation of $10m not due to start until 2015-2016, CHO projects are in limbo. A substantial reduction from the $145.3M available from July 2012.
• MSD secured more than $80m to help with the administrative aspects of assessment. Although CHA accepts that MSD needs the infrastructure to effectively carry out assessments, the allocation does not translate into bricks and mortar for those in need, and should largely be a transfer of cost of the same services which HNZC used to provide.
• $8m allocated to assist with packages to move people from state housing into other accommodation.
• No mention of stock transfers- despite the well received position that CHA, Te Matapihi, and the Auckland Community Housing Providers Network put together. Is it buried in some other part of the budget?
• IRRS is supposed to be the new solution- but we know it doesn’t work to unleash your potential as currently structured.
There are several pieces missing- if this is all we have to work with, it’s going to take somewhere between 200 and 400 years to achieve the 20% delivery by our sector. Surely something else is yet to come?
So what’s our response? We’re working on the investment plan that will put us back on track to deliver 20% by 2020. It needs to sit within the context of a proper long term housing strategy. That’s what I’m hearing from many of you as the position you want us to take.
We need a bit more time to get that outline together. Watch this space for more detail on that. And be ready to engage on it at the conference!
CHA Level 4 Guidance Document 8 September