Leading Environmental law firm, Berry Simons, is calling on the Government to consider the need to address housing demand, rather than focusing only on bringing more supply to the market, in its bid to curb Auckland’s severe housing shortage.Read More
NBR Opinion: The will and the way to solve housing affordability
Paul Majurey, of Marutūāhu descent, chairs the Waimahia and Puhinui Park community housing developments and wrote this opinion piece.
A few weeks ago, we saw the blessing of the final homes to be occupied at the Waimahia housing development. Five years of collective effort has transformed 16ha of green pasture at Weymouth into a 1200 strong community living in 295 homes.
This was brought together by the Tāmaki Collective of iwi, NZ Housing Foundation, CORT Community Housing and Te Tumu Kainga (the Māori Trustee). Importantly, the development was given its Waimahia name by Te Ākitai Waiohua, mana whenua of the area.
The vision of the partners was for a strong community living in warm houses among open spaces and parks with no discernible markers between social/affordable and privately owned homes. The Waimahia community includes 48% Māori and 18% Pacifica. There is a large number of youth (29% are under 15 years of age and nearly 50% are 25 and under) together with kaumātua. Next year, an early childhood centre will be completed, funded by the Waimahia partnership, which will also be available to the community in the evenings and weekends. Significantly, there is an active and cohesive community group.
The project was announced in late 2013 and its unusual features quickly made headlines. Rather than originating from a state agency or national housing corporate, the affordable housing proposal was the initiative of a partnership of iwi and not-for-profit community housing providers. With a then projected 283 single-lot units consisting of a high proportion of affordable homes, it was a rare example of scale affordable housing amid a growing housing affordability crisis. Rather than another example of land banking or quick-flick capital gain projects in Auckland, investors were shown the door in favour of first-home families who wanted a place to grow together with their children.
The project involved a number of firsts. It was the first large-scale Crown land opportunity taken up by the 13 iwi/hapū of the Tāmaki Collective (being the tribes of Waiohua, Ngāti Whātua and Marutūāhu) under their landmark Treaty settlement. It was the first time Auckland community housing providers (Housing Foundation and CORT Community Housing) partnered together for a scale project. It was the launching pad for the first national Māori community housing provider – Te Tumu Kainga. It was the first designated Auckland special housing area; the first to obtain resource consents under the SHA legislation; and the first to begin house construction. The support of Auckland Council and the Manurewa Local Board was crucial.
Tāmaki Collective, consisting of the tribes of Waiohua, Ngāti Whātua and Marutūāhu, are nearing completion of the Waimahia housing development.
The first families moved into their new homes in September 2014, 11 months after the announcement of the project. The 295 houses range from two to five bedrooms and are architect-designed, with double glazed windows and have a five-star energy rating.
Of the 70% of non-private homes, 29% are in a shared equity scheme, 20% in a rent-to-buy scheme, 2% in long-term community rental, and 18% in ownership by the community housing providers for their tenants. The late-2013 prices were $350,000 for a two-bedroom house, $394,000 for a three-bedroom house, $455,000 for a four-bedroom house and five-bedroom house from $500,000. Homes sold in the last stages ranged from $635,000 (three bedrooms) to $680,000 (four bedrooms).
The above summary belies the challenges and courage shown by all involved. This $120 million project would not have occurred without the government’s decision, against officials’ advice, to provide $29 million of funding to an iwi-community partnership which had never built a house together. Nor would anyone have passed go without the Tāmaki Collective partnering with the community housing providers to take up a Treaty settlement opportunity. Each of the providers put up scarce money in their singular drive to provide homes for families. Finally, brave decisions were made by whānau to buy or rent off the plans.
In the end more homes were built than planned, and surplus funds have, with government support, been recycled into the next community housing project at Manukau (the Puhinui Park Project). Most satisfying of all, however, is the enduring community living together at Waimahia.
We hope this is a model which the new coalition government can seize upon and really scale up, as it looks to deliver on its commitments to ease the housing affordability crisis – a crisis which particularly affects low-income families, in which Māori are over-represented.
We think there’s clearly a real will to solve these problems. Waimahia shows the way.
10am – 4pm, Tuesday 25 October
The Front Room, Spark New Zealand, 167 Victoria Street West, Auckland
Please register to join us at a facilitated workshop to provide philanthropic funders, community housing providers and other investors with the chance to explore new ways of investing in community housing.Read More
Tuesday 27 September 2016 - 3.00pm Registration for a 3.30pm start - Beca, 21 Pitt Street, Auckland
NZCID, together with hosts Beca, are delighted to invite you to attend the Social Housing Funding Forum where speakers from both Australia and the UK will outline mechanisms that have been utilised to increase housing funding and supply in their respective jurisdictions.Read More
Auckland Council’s portfolio of homes for older Aucklanders is to be redeveloped and approval has been given to partner with The Selwyn Foundation for the management of the housing. Many of the 1452 rental units across 63 villages are rundown and poorly located for amenities such as public transport. The city’s urban development agency Panuku Development Auckland will ensure the new homes address the needs of older people both in location and quality.The existing number of rental units will be maintained with the potential to develop more over time.Read More
In 2011, the New Zealand Housing Foundation, in partnership with the Salvation Army, built 14 houses at Robertson Road, Mangere. Delighted families soon moved into the new homes to begin their journey towards full homeownership.Read More
Habitat for Humanity Auckland believes that everyone deserves a decent, healthy place to live, especially the most vulnerable members of society – our children. Philip and Patricia Booth and their four young sons were living in a substandard rental property in Papatoetoe, dealing with mould, damp, leaks, and a house that sank on its foundations every time it rained. The Booth family moved into their new Habitat home at Christmas last year, and already have experienced the benefits of being in a decent, healthy home.Read More
Auckland Community Housing Network
Government plans threaten supply of social and affordable housing
A network of ten community housing groups has come together to raise its concerns over the Government’s plan to sell thousands of state houses under its housing reform programme.
The network of not-for-profit, social enterprises and charitable trusts, called the Auckland Community Housing Network, is particularly worried the Government has given no guarantee the money gained from an asset sale would be reinvested in the housing sector.
The Waimahia Inlet development is being created by leading not-for-profit community housing organisations with the support of some of New Zealand’s most experienced urban planners, architects and building companies.Read More