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Council Begins Social Housing Project for Central Hawke's Bay

Friday 10 August 2018

The Central Hawke’s Bay District Council is beginning a project to identify solutions to address social housing challenges for the Central Hawke’s Bay community.

In late 2017, a meeting was called in response to a newspaper article highlighting a young family unable to find suitable housing in Central Hawke’s Bay.  While media attention focussed on the family’s immediate housing need, those working in the sector raised wider concerns about social housing availability in Central Hawke’s Bay District.  A subsequent meeting of Councillors and those working in the sector sought clarity on Councils role in providing social housing.

Council is a provider of a significant proportion of social housing stock in the district via their 48 pensioner flats, but to provide some further leadership in this space, Councillors resolved to create a Social Housing Strategy for the district, as part of its 2018-2028 Long Term Plan.

The purpose of the Social Housing Strategy is to identify issues and opportunities to address local challenges for social housing in the community, including Councils current role.  A strong focus in the strategy will be on delivering timely social housing outcomes for the Central Hawke’s Bay community.

“As Community Leaders, this project gets right to the heart of addressing social housing issues for our most vulnerable”, say Community Development Committee Chair Kelly Annand.  “We need to be clear what actions will actually provide constructive and sustainable solutions.”

Mayor Alex Walker is pleased that Council is able to step into the breach where Government agencies have been unable to meet community needs. “MSD and Housing NZ do not have any clear intention to expand social housing stock in our community – but we can see there is a gap that needs to be addressed. It is great that we have been able to step up and do something to find solutions.”

The project will be delivered in two phases, the first stage being working alongside Central Government and other key agencies to fully understand the challenges and opportunities for Social Housing in Central Hawke’s Bay.  Council’s role in delivering social housing, including the strategic direction of its current retirement housing portfolio in social housing will also be included in the Strategy.

The second phase will be the implementation of the Strategy with clear timelines and accountabilities in relation to delivering successful social housing outcomes for the community.

A draft of the Strategy for consultation with the community is expected to be available in early 2019.

10 August 2018

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