Kāpiti’s urgent housing need prompts consultation on affordable housing entity
Consultation on the Kāpiti Coast District Council’s proposal to help more people access affordable housing opened yesterday.
Council is proposing to establish an independent community land trust (CLT) that could work with iwi partners and other organisations and housing providers to deliver affordable housing outcomes for Kāpiti.
Mayor K Gurunathan says Kāpiti is facing significant and growing housing access and affordability issues that need to be addressed sooner rather than later.
“The proposal is the result of one of the key actions identified in the recently adopted Kāpiti Coast District Council Housing Strategy 2022,” the Mayor says. “It’s about setting up the right entity for Kāpiti that can help deliver more affordable housing in our communities.
“Council is responsible for the wellbeing of its people. This was made clear in 2019 when the Government reintroduced the four wellbeing’s into the Local Government Act 2002, our governing legislation.
“What the housing needs assessment (Kāpiti Coast Housing Needs Assessment 2022) shows, is that housing stress is having a domino effect in our district, negatively impacting people’s wellbeing. Housing is often the first domino to fall, impacting many or all aspects of a person's life, including community connection and job security.
“It’s a critical time for Kāpiti to decide what housing future it wants to see,” the Mayor says. “Housing stress is impacting people in all corners of our community, not just those on lower incomes. I encourage everyone to have a say on this proposal, no matter your housing situation.”
As an independent not-for-profit organisation, a CLT is governed by a board of trustees made up of iwi, community members and professional representatives. Its purpose is to provide social and affordable housing opportunities within communities.
A CLT can hold land, transferred to it by Council or acquired on its own, for the purpose of delivering affordable or social housing. It can then use this land to create affordable housing solutions in partnership with community housing providers and other organisations, that develop houses on the land.
Housing portfolio leader Councillor Rob McCann says establishing an affordable housing entity in Kāpiti is an absolute must.
“While we continue to put pressure on the Government to increase investment in affordable and social housing in our district, we also need to look at ways we, as a community, can deliver solutions locally for our people. What we’re proposing is just that.
“Essentially a CLT can help take the land price out of the housing cost equation.” Cr McCann says. “It ticks all the boxes, it will be governed by an independent board of trustees who will have the right skills and expertise, it can access Government funding not currently available to council or council-controlled organisations, and it is able to establish long-term partnerships to get the job done.
“Council will work with the trust as needed. We will also continue to support our iwi partners and community organisations where we can and continue to action our housing strategy.
“Our vision is for everyone in Kāpiti to have access to quality affordable housing so that they can live and thrive, and so our district can thrive too. This proposal will help us start to turn this vision into a reality. I’m hopeful that we hear from as many of our community as possible, as we need to face this housing crisis together.”
To learn more about the proposal and to have your say visit haveyoursay.kapiticoast.govt.nz/affordable-housing. Consultation closes 5pm, Friday 8 July.