New Housing Ministry opens doors
Tuesday 2 October 2018
The Government’s stand-alone Housing “super” ministry, which aims to unite all the disparate strands of housing policy, opened for business this week.
By Miriam Bell
Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford says housing and urban development is too important to New Zealand, and too complex an area, to remain split across government agencies.
“We need one single, strong organisation to lead across agencies and across the housing and urban development system.
“We need to focus government efforts because the housing shortage is hurting New Zealanders. Too many people are homeless, in poor quality housing or locked out of home ownership.”
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will unite a range of previously fragmented housing policy, funding and regulatory functions from a range of agencies.
These include MBIE, Kiwibuild, the Community Housing Regulatory Authority, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), Treasury and the Tamaki Redevelopment Company.
It will also be responsible for the administration of funding for HomeStart, Welcome Home Loans, the legacy Social Housing Fund and Community Group Housing.
But MSD will still be the place for people to approach if they are homeless and/or need emergency housing, or need access to public housing.
Twyford says the new ministry will implement the Government’s programme to end homelessness, make housing affordable and make cities more liveable.
“It will develop strong capability in urban development and will drive urban development strategies to create the spaces, services and infrastructure that thriving communities need.”
“We’re building communities and cities for the future so high-quality urban development is a priority.
“All New Zealanders should be able to live in healthy, affordable homes in communities connected to where they live, work, learn and play.”
Currently, the ministry has about $8 million funding, plus $6 million of infrastructure costs, for its first year.
But this funding will come from existing funding from the other ministries who are handing over policies and functions to the new ministry.
Land Information NZ chief executive Andrew Crisp is the acting chief executive of the new ministry, but Twyford says a permanent appointment process is underway.
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