What recent announcements has he made regarding the Government’s Housing Innovation Fund?
On Monday I announced a further three projects in Hamilton, Flaxmere, and Napier that will receive $2.7 million from the fund. They include an 11-bedroom home in Flaxmere to be used as an affordable rental property for kaumātua, four properties in Hawke’s Bay for people experiencing mental illness, and seven accessible homes for affordable rental in Hamilton.
The fund encourages partnerships with community housing organisations. It is about making the taxpayer’s dollar go further. So far this year the $6 million contributed by the Government to help to fund new houses has been met by $7.1 million from community organisations. As part of this Government’s commitment to increase the quantum of social housing, I am currently looking at ways to move from the Housing Innovation Fund to an even more attractive deal for third sector organisations. We want to work with them.
Does he agree with the Prime Minister that New Zealand is not facing a housing shortage; if not, will he guarantee that Labour’s Housing Innovation Fund will continue in one form or another in the next financial year, with the increase in funding that he has been promising the sector?
In the time that National has been in Government we have funded, with community organisations, 212 houses. Under the Labour Government’s Housing Innovation Fund, which Ms Mackey mentioned, the previous Government funded barely any houses. Interestingly enough, we are into housebuilding. That Government was into capacity building, which did not keep the rain out.