Service provision issues
For the purpose of this report, social housing is defined as accommodation provided to address the housing needs of specific groups of people – usually by community organisations (sometimes known as the third sector). Social housing supplements and complements the housing provided by the private market and by central government through its housing stocks. It is usually provided with support from state agencies such as Housing New Zealand Corporation.
Tauranga providers identified emergency housing, transitional housing and housing for single people as the areas with the most critical gaps in service provision. A lack of housing for people with disabilities was another major concern, with many local providers saying Tauranga is not as well served as other parts of New Zealand, such as the Waikato and Christchurch. Housing New Zealand and the Bay of Plenty and Lakes DHBs have jointly commissioned research into the housing needs of people with disabilities: a report is due for completion in June 2006.
A number of initiatives are underway to deal with the stresses associated with housing affordability, which providers say are having a huge impact on the wellbeing of Tauranga families. In 2005, the Tauranga City Council joined forces with the Western Bay District Council, Environment Bay of Plenty and Smart Growth to commission a report and literature review on schemes that might improve the supply of affordable homes. The Bay of Plenty Community Outcomes working group has signalled its intention to tackle the issue of affordable housing across the whole Bay of Plenty. Their work may be informed by research being done in 2006 into affordable housing in the region by the Centre for Housing Research Aotearoa New Zealand (CHRANZ).
Affordable housing is an area where collaborative initiatives have the potential to make a significant difference for local families, and where a considerable amount of work is currently underway. Action planning in this area will focus on how Tauranga’s family agencies can best support the work being done.
Priority 5: Families in need of respite