Habitat for Humanity New Zealand commends the announcement of a range of new funds in housing, largely geared to address
the urgent needs of the chronically homeless, those in government-funded transitional housing, and those deemed at
imminent risk of becoming homeless.
“Homelessness is an unacceptable reality for thousands of New Zealanders – a reality this budget aims to both relieve
and prevent” says CEO Claire Szabó. “Alongside new investment in mental health and addiction services, the budget brings
good news for our most vulnerably-housed people” she said.
The housing charity notes the government has focused its new resources in housing this year at the critical end of the
housing crisis. “While this rightly addresses those in dire need, a long-term plan will be necessary going forward” say
Szabó. According to the charity, this would allow households to achieve their best possible housing outcomes, and see
more families living independently of housing support.
“Solving the housing crisis in the long-term will ultimately require investment at a range of points on the housing
spectrum” notes Ms Szabó. “We need to be intentional in developing pathways for people out of precarious situations and
into sustainable, secure housing”.
Habitat for Humanity has worked with more than 500 New Zealand households on low-to-modest incomes, building homes and
moving families into home ownership. Based on this work, the charity recognises five components essential for such
families to have a pathway into home ownership: pre-selection support services, secure-tenure rental, ongoing support
and training (such as in financial capability), a subsidy scheme (such as rent-to-buy) and access to a well-priced home.
Of these five components for long-term housing independence, the government has announced support for one in today’s
Habitat for Humanity is heartened by the announcement of financial capability training for 1,200 Pasifika households
over the next four years to ready them for home ownership. “Pasifika households face major challenges accessing home
ownership. Whilst Pākeha households own their own home at a rate of 56.8%, only 18.5% of Pasifika households do” said
Szabó. This is down from 26% in 2001, according to a 2013 report from Statistics New Zealand. “The inequity is stark and
needs addressing through a long-term strategy”.
“This investment improving financial capability of Pasifika households is the first step of assisting families into home
ownership”, says Ms Szabó. “We’re now awaiting the Government’s kiwibuild reset shortly, to see if further components
will unlock home ownership pathways for more kiwi families.”
Habitat for Humanity looks forward to working with the government on its long-term housing strategy.