New Zealand could learn from a Canadian model for affordable housing that is also strengthening communities, Green MP Jan Logie says.
Logie led a political exchange to Canada in late April and early May, with the delegation looking at affordable housing in Victoria, British Columbia, amongst many other topics.
"Canada has a housing crisis similar to ours," Logie told the Whanganui Chronicle during a visit to the city on Sunday.
The New Zealand delegation learned about housing developments in Victoria where the equivalent of Housing New Zealand is building affordable housing.
"That was inspiring," Logie said.
"They provided funding for community organisations to be able to build housing with community centres and social work support. They had been working with community agencies for several years to help them be able to get funding.
"It was proactive in trying to change and strengthen communities."
Hundreds of temporary modular apartments, of a quality that could be permanent, were being built.
"They were beautiful," Logie said.
Land that was earmarked for development in future years was being used for some temporary apartments which would be moved when the land was required.
Logie said she did not know if Housing Minister Phil Twyford was aware of the initiative and intended to discuss the concept with him.
There was also a role for local councils in social housing but, in terms of their funding base, local authorities were "very constrained", Logie said.
"Some people want to see their elected representatives providing leadership for community-building and care for the most vulnerable," she said.
"For too long we have suggested that the private rental market will deliver the care that we need and it doesn't.
"If there's a problem with tenants damaging a house, that's a strong case for good state housing."