The New Zealand Housing Foundation has welcomed the government’s release of the Housing Shareholders Advisory Group report; saying new solutions will be needed to meet the country’s social and affordable housing needs.
Chairman Dr Tony Lanigan said the foundation’s experience showed that concepts like shared ownership and other solutions could help low income Kiwis into their own homes – a goal that ought to be a cornerstone of housing policy.
“Affordable housing is central to Kiwi society and remains stitched into the social aspirations of our culture,” he said. “Without the solid foundation of a home, low income New Zealanders are forever in survival mode and less able to make a wider contribution to their communities.”
Dr Lanigan said he agreed with the Advisory Group’s findings that, while the current state housing model had served New Zealand well, it was insufficient for future needs.
“The scale of this challenge is such that the government alone cannot be expected to solve the problem,” he said.
“Households and family needs have become more diverse, and this needs to be the focus, rather than just the bricks and mortar,” said Dr Lanigan. “The range of products and services delivered must therefore be tailored to meet these local housing needs.”
He said the government’s proposal that the Advisory Group now engage with stakeholders in the sector was a good one.
“We hope this conversation produces some innovative and effective paths forward,” he said.
The foundation welcomed an opportunity to further engage with the Advisory Group’s findings and other players in the sector to further its commitment to affordable housing for all New Zealanders.
Dr Lanigan said that greater partnership between government housing agencies and the Third Sector as well as private sector providers would be a key to effective solutions in the future.
The foundation has achieved considerable success facilitating local housing developments that enable low income Kiwis to live within stable communities, he said.
Dr Lanigan said the Foundation was grateful for the work its members Major Campbell Roberts and Brian Donnelly had contributed to the Advisory Group.
While this work had been independent of the foundation’s ongoing programme, the Advisory Group’s findings were important in ensuring New Zealand’s social and affordable housing needs were met into the future, he said.