August 15, 2018
Lessons from the past guide housing plans
A Māori housing advocacy group says the Government has to get back into provision of Māori housing in a major way.
Te Matapihi led a workshop in Auckland yesterday bringing together experts from government, iwi, social agencies and financial services to look at ways to help Māori buy their own homes.
Te Matapihi chair Rau Hoskins says Māori home ownership has dropped 20 percentage points to 28 percent since 1990.
That was the year the Department of Māori Affairs shur its doors, taking with it a dedicated unit focused on Māori housing in both rural and urban areas.
It's also when state housing was put under a corporate model, and the end of the family benefit which whanau could capitalise for the deposit for a first home.
"We think a bold approach is required and you have to look back to the past to see what has worked and certainly having a dedicated department did work. It wasn't perfect but it did get Māori into homes at reasonable interest rates that were locked in for many years," Mr Hoskins says.
He'd like like to see an update of the 1935 Māori Housing Act, and the creation of a dedicated Minister of Māori Housing.
A report will be prepared for Te Puni Kokiri's Māori housing Network, which could lead to a cabinet paper.
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