Sandra is a senior crimes and justice reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Community leaders, social agencies call for urgency on 'housing crisis'

1 comment
Many people are sleeping rough in Tauranga amid a 'housing crisis'. Photo/Andrew Warner
Many people are sleeping rough in Tauranga amid a 'housing crisis'. Photo/Andrew Warner

Bay community leaders and social agencies are calling on the Government to take urgent steps to tackle the district's "housing crisis" in the lead up to this week's Budget announcement.

Read what Bay residents want from this year's budget below

Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby said he wanted to see more Government funding for social housing.

"There needs to be more funding provided to social agencies who have the capabilities to deliver more social housing options for people in desperate need," he said.

He also hoped the Government's Budget, to be announced on Thursday, would look at establishing a home-start programme for first-home buyers.

The time for talking is over. We need urgent action to address our housing crisis.
Vanessa Kururangi

"This would allow people to get a deposit for their first home, with either very low interest rates or interest-free for five years, possibly, he said.

Te Tuinga Whanau support service executive director Tommy Wilson said he would like to see a Budget that helped those most in need.

"Too often Budgets are lolly scrambles but there is nothing sweet about not being able to afford a whare to rent, let alone taking the first step on the ownership ladder.

"Every city, especially the fastest growing one in the country (Tauranga), needs six designated state houses for emergency housing to bring those out in the cold this winter inside," he said.

Tauranga Budget Advisory Service manager Diane Bruin said there needed to be greater collaboration between councils and central Government, social agencies and private entities to fast-track solutions.

Vanessa Kururangi, spokeswoman for local branch of the State Housing Action Network, said the Government needed to make more social housing available and stop selling off state homes.

Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby.
Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby.

Ms Kururangi said with so many families living in garages, tents, cars, and parks, including women with children, extra funding for a women's shelter in Tauranga was needed.

"The time for talking is over. We need urgent action to address our housing crisis," she said.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council mayor Ross Paterson said there needed to be a think-tank with Government to address affordability.

Ross Stanway, Eves and Bayleys Real Estate chief executive, said there needed to be an increase in supply, starting with making more land available and looking to build more innovative and cost-effective homes, without compromising on quality.

"We need urgent changes to the Resource Management Act to make the process more streamlined and user-friendly with more effective planning processes and compliance procedures.

"It's going to take better collaboration between local and central government agencies and private entities working to make some key decisions sooner, with sufficient funds to make things happen."

The Government will announces its 2016 Budget this week. What would you spend money on if you were in Government?

"I'd spend money on changing the way we sell houses to free up more." Graeme Richardson, 58, Parkvale.
"I'd spend money on changing the way we sell houses to free up more." Graeme Richardson, 58, Parkvale.
"I'd spend more on social housing and sorting out the gangs who are a huge part of our P-problems." Julia Biddle, 58, Parkvale.
"I'd spend more on social housing and sorting out the gangs who are a huge part of our P-problems." Julia Biddle, 58, Parkvale.
"Education. The standard of education in New Zealand has deteriorated since the introduction of NCEA." Mark Devoy, 62, Avenues.
"Education. The standard of education in New Zealand has deteriorated since the introduction of NCEA." Mark Devoy, 62, Avenues.
"I'd spend far more on housing as there's lots of homeless people out there, especially families." Caitlin McDonald, 28, Katikati.
"I'd spend far more on housing as there's lots of homeless people out there, especially families." Caitlin McDonald, 28, Katikati.
"Housing and sorting out our poverty issues." Aaron Orsmsby, 32, Te Puna.
"Housing and sorting out our poverty issues." Aaron Orsmsby, 32, Te Puna.

- Bay of Plenty Times

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 24 Feb 2017 11:16:02 Processing Time: 545ms