The Productivity Commission Housing Affordability report has just been released and nearly 20% of the 265 page report is devoted to social, community and Maori housing.
The Productivity Commission’s chair Murray Sherwin has stated in a press release “The community housing sector has a unique and very valuable role to fill. Mr Sherwin also said “the Social Housing Fund set up to help the community housing sector grow is not equal to the task demanded of it”
Of particular interest for CHA members will be the Commission’s recommendations which include:
12.1: Once this funding round is completed, a comprehensive review of the SHU funding process should be undertaken to reduce the cost involved in applying.
12.2: Provide market rent levels of Accommodation Supplement where community housing organisations provide reduced rents to their clients.
13.1: The Pütea Taiwhenua (Rural Fund) be used to provide seed funding to organisations for using a microfinance lending approach to address the quality of the rural housing stock.
13.2: Where the government lends for homes on Mäori land, it should manage defaults through a more cost-effective means than repossessing the houses.
13.3: A team of Mäori housing expert advisors, housed in a national agency like Te Puni Kökiri or the proposed Whänau Ora commissioning agency, be made available to Mäori land owners with aspirations to build housing on their whenua.
13.4: Whänau Ora facilitators be trained to educate whänau about the options for management structures for their Mäori land, and to play a role in developing plans for the use of Mäori land for housing (where this is what the whänau wants).
13.5: Te Puni Kökiri, working with the Mäori Land Court and private finance institutions, develop options to adapt existing lending policies and precedents for private finance institutions to lend for building homes on Mäori land.
CHA will be sure to follow up on the findings and recommendations of this report in the coming weeks. In the meantime the report can be accessed here and the Productivity Commission’s press release here.