NEWS

Housing help for Northland and East Coast Māori

Thursday 10 May 2012, 1:32PM
By Tariana Turia
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New social housing funding has gone to Māori and Rural whanau with housing challenges in Northland and the East Coast.

Housing Minister Phil Heatley and Associate Housing Minister Tariana Turia today announced Social Housing Unit (SHU) funding for Māori and Rural segments, from the $37.35 million Social Housing Fund.

“This money goes direct to the non-government providers who applied for it, and have undertaken to direct it straight to people in real need,” Mr Heatley said.

“This is a way of seeing that people who are sometimes living in challenging housing situations, get the benefit,” he said.

Mrs Turia said that the SHU was a mechanism to support partnership between the Crown and local communities in developing integrated responses to housing needs.

“What we have been determined to do, is to address the need where need exists and we've been clear from the start that urgent attention was required to respond to the persistent housing issues both for Maori, and in rural areas,” she said.

“Our priority has been to support those local organisations who know best how to support their communities to be able to develop housing solutions that fit within their own context.”

The SHU was set up last year as a key part of recent Government initiatives in social housing. It aims to meet the growing need for social and affordable housing by allocating funding and forming partnerships with third-party providers that provide social and affordable housing.

In the Far North Kaitaia region, He Korowai Trust was successful in both the Māori and Rural Funds, giving it $720,000 to buy nine homes. They will be reconditioned and transported on to Māori land to house families who live in dangerous, unsafe, or unhealthy living environments.

In Wairoa, Kahungunu Executive ki te Wairoa has received $1 million from the Rural Fund to purchase 10 houses and let them to families who are experiencing significant affordability issues, and are currently renting poor quality housing at high prices.

Also in the Gisborne region, Te Runanga O Ngati Porou has received $300,000 from the Māori Fund to build three two-bedroom units for its elderly people who need healthy, safe, affordable housing. The units will be built at Kapohanga A Rangi marae.