Funding available for Maori housing initiativesHousing
Associate Minister of Housing Tariana Turia today announced the opening of a new infrastructure grant fund for developing Maori land as well as changes to an existing proposal development programme to better support Maori housing initiatives.
“Both programmes are designed to enable the development of social and affordable housing projects on Maori land and to prepare Maori organisations to play a bigger role in providing social and affordable housing for their people,” says Minister Turia.
The Kainga Whenua Infrastructure Grant provides $12 million over three years to help Maori individuals, land trusts and other collectives develop housing on ancestral Maori land. The funding is provided for those additional infrastructure costs, such as establishing roading and services. Extra costs like accessing power and water particularly in rural areas, often limit the use of Maori land for social and affordable housing. Support for infrastructure costs will make it more realistic for Maori individuals and trusts to take advantage of other Government programmes, such as accessing Kainga Whenua loans through Kiwibank for building housing on Maori land.
“The Kainga Whenua Infrastructure Grant will allow whanau, hapu and iwi to unlock the value of their land for social and affordable housing. These changes mean that Maori communities will be able to return to their ancestral lands to live which in the past has been extremely difficult given the costs of infrastructure.”
The Kainga Whenua Project Capability or Proposal Development Grant is available to assist housing providers with initial up-front proposal development costs and for building their capability to manage future housing projects and portfolios.
“This programme was set up last year as the Proposal Development Fund but for potential Maori applicants it wasn’t proving flexible enough, so we have implemented a number of changes to make the programme work better for Maori.”
“Maori providers and organisations have significant expertise and desire to be leading community housing providers, and we want to support their development and future opportunities,” says Minister Turia.
Changes to the programme include flexible grant levels to reflect actual costs as well as recognition that some Maori providers and organisations do not have available cash to support their housing ideas. Changes also include a new provision for the grants to be used for organisational capability building as well as project costs.
Guidelines and application forms for the two grant programmes are now available.