August 2010 - Letter to the Editor
Following the publication of the Housing Shareholders Advisory Group report Home and Housed the Trust has the following letter published in the 16th August issue of the Dominion Post:
Our organisation has been providing affordable housing to low income people in Wellington City for almost 30 years. We see constantly the reality of a social housing system that is no longer meeting growing needs. We could be providing housing on a much larger scale if we received adequate and appropriate funding support from government.
International research shows that growing the not-for-profit housing sector is a successful way of increasing the supply of social housing stock. There are many benefits for governments using this sector including better outcomes for tenants and communities, and government investment. The sector has the capacity to borrow against the properties they own and are well-placed to attract support from other partners. Currently in Australia, for every dollar spent by the government, not-for-profit housing agencies attract an extra 25 to 30 percent from private, philanthropic and local government sources. Simply put, this model creates more homes.
There is no doubt the debate about social housing provision is overdue in this country. Whatever the model used, the government must keep its investment in social housing. The real debate is what is the most effective use of this investment?
Alison Cadman, Director, Wellington Housing Trust