Topic: Housing

Govt to look at social housing reform for state home ownership

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

The Government is looking at a major package of social housing reform that could see community groups take ownership of state housing. 

Housing Minister Nick Smith has been approaching iwi throughout the country to get them to invest in the project.

There are around 69,000 state houses in NZ, all of them managed by the state, but that could soon all change with the Social Housing Reform Bill.

The reform would see around 20% of the state housing market managed by community organisations.

If community groups invested, it would take some of the heat off the Government, saving them millions.  Figures show that $600mil has been spent on state house repairs alone over the last three years.

Kahungunu is considering the Government's offer.  In July, it opened up its first social housing project, a kaumātua unit in Flaxmere, in partnership with Housing NZ.

The reform would see tenants still receiving the same taxpayer subsidies as state housing tenants, and the Government would pay the rest of the rent to private providers who would also be helped to buy houses for their portfolios.