$21m allocated for new social housing in Auckland

Press Release – New Zealand Government
Housing Minister Phil Heatley has released the Social Housing Fund Allocation Plan, setting out how the $104.1 million allocated in this year’s Budget will be spent on funding non-government housing providers over the next three years.

“This is the largest single Government investment ever made in community housing and demonstrates our determined response to the need for more social housing in New Zealand,” Mr Heatley said.

“In 2011/12 we saw non-government providers come forward with a dollar or two dollars for each dollar the Government put in, and 269 houses will be built. This means that the actual investment in social housing from this latest plan could be well in excess of $200 million.”

The 2012/13 Social Housing Fund will better target areas of need. Evaluation of the 2011/12 Social Housing Fund, which allocated over $36 million in grants to 17 non-government housing providers, revealed a strong preference for a targeted approach.

“We have listened to the sector, and this Allocation Plan reflects the desire for a clear and more targeted approach to funding, including a focus on Canterbury and Auckland, which have a high level of social housing pressure,” the Minister said.

“These regions will each receive substantial investment of $21 million for new social housing through the Social Housing Unit’s three-year plan.”

Of the total fund, $25 million has been set aside for larger developments, and this may include asset transfer initiatives.

For social housing on Maori land and for Maori providers, a special allocation of $13.8 million has been set aside.

The Social Housing Unit, which administers the fund on behalf of the Government, has further information on its website: go to
http://shu.govt.nz/news/social-housing-fund-allocation-plan-2012-2015/

The funding rounds will begin on 8 October, when further process information will be available.

Statement from NZ Labour Party
In the Government re-announcement around social housing, Minister Phil Heatley is boasting of a record spend. Like the Prime Minister, Mr Heatley appears not to be good at reading the fine print, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Annette King says.

“Here we not only have the minister re-confirming what was announced in the Budget in May, but making some rather grandiose statements.

“Mr Heatley says the $104.1 million allocated in this year’s budget is the ‘largest single Government investment ever made in community housing’. This is inconsistent with what he was saying earlier this year when he first announced the $104.1 fund.

“At that stage grants to non-government housing bodies were actually being cut – from $37.4 million last year to $34 million this year, with an average of $35 million to be spent over each of the next two years.

“It’s patently obvious that Mr Heatley has failed to convince his Cabinet colleagues that housing is a priority and is now having to come up with some fancy framing around where he’s going to spend his budget.

“Pointing out that Auckland and Christchurch are priorities wouldn’t have stretched his brain. Christchurch has been devastated by some earthquakes and Auckland is our fastest growing city. “Gilding the lily is one thing, actually cementing something in is another,” Annette King said.

 

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