$24.4m hous­ing boost

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - SAMSACHDEVA

A $24.4 mil­lion fund­ing boost for Auck­land’s so­cial hous­ing will help ease pres­sure on the city’s ‘‘ex­tremely tight’’ hous­ing mar­ket, So­cial Hous­ing Min­is­ter Paula Ben­nett says.

The fund­ing will al­low com­mu­nity hous­ing providers to re­ceive a grant worth 50 per cent of any new so­cial hous­ing they build, or a weekly grant of up to 50 per cent of a prop­erty’s mar­ket rent.

The an­nounce­ment comes af­ter the news that the av­er­age Auck­land house price has of­fi­cially hit the $1 mil­lion mark.

Or­gan­i­sa­tions leas­ing pri­vate prop­er­ties for so­cial hous­ing can also re­ceive a grant worth up to 50 per cent of the mar­ket rent.

Ben­nett says the fund­ing, in ad­di­tion to $120 mil­lion al­lo­cated for Auck­land so­cial hous­ing places in the 2016 Bud­get, would help com­mu­nity hous­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions to cre­ate more so­cial hous­ing at a faster rate.

‘‘We know the prop­erty mar­ket is ex­tremely tight in Auck­land at present, and it is no dif­fer­ent for those or­gan­i­sa­tions help­ing to house our most vul­ner­a­ble cit­i­zens.’’

The money would largely go to­wards one and two-bed­room houses, as well as larger prop­er­ties. Ben­nett says the fund­ing showed the Govern­ment was tak­ing the hous­ing short­age se­ri­ously.

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