Accessible Properties was pleased to be part of a housing forum in Tauranga this week hosted by Housing Minister, Hon Phil Twyford.
The forum included representatives from central and local government as well as other Tauranga-based housing agencies, with Accessible Properties General Manager Tauranga, Vicki McLaren attending.
“The forum provided us with an opportunity to discuss housing issues we face here in Tauranga, as well as talk with central and local government representatives about what Accessible Properties is looking to achieve, and how we can work together on these aims,” Vicki says.
“We welcome Minister Twyford’s development of a national housing strategy for New Zealand. Importantly the strategy recognises that regions like Tauranga, which has already undertaken significant work on the issue of housing through the Smart Growth strategy, need the freedom to deliver housing solutions according to their specific needs.”
As part of the national strategy the Minister outlined his support for large scale planning in the housing sector, incorporating a mixed approach with KiwiBuild homes, as well as development by Community Housing Providers like APNZL, to deliver the overall outcome of providing warm, dry homes for people.
“As the largest land owners in Tauranga and Bay of Plenty we are in the optimum position to contribute to the growth of the public housing stock in the region,” says Vicki.
“But solely building houses is not enough. We want to develop communities where people are able to access social supports, creating communities where people can get ahead.
“There are a range of social outcomes that can be improved by providing quality public housing and Minister Twyford acknowledged the role social support services play in achieving this aim.”
The Minister also highlighted the importance of reducing the cost of building houses in New Zealand. “Reducing the cost of building flows through the housing market,” says Vicki. “As a Community Housing Provider, if we reduce building costs we are then able to invest in building even more homes.
“But building homes in the private market also becomes more affordable, opening more space in the private rental market, easing the pressure for good housing in the overall market.”
Another important issue touched on at the forum was the government’s support for a review of New Zealand’s current guidelines on meth contamination.
“We look forward to clear direction coming from the Minister on those guidelines because it is important to us that we are able to responsibly combat the issue of meth in our homes, while safely supporting the families affected,” concludes Vicki.