Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett and Salvation Army Territorial Commander Commissioner Robert Donaldson have announced the Government and The Salvation Army will work together to provide more social housing for vulnerable Aucklanders.
As announced by Mrs Bennett today, a Request for Proposal (RFP) from the community housing sector for more social housing in Auckland is expected to deliver over 500 new places, with 87 places provided by The Salvation Army.
“The Government is committed to working with the community sector to increase the supply of social housing and better support our most vulnerable, so I am particularly pleased we are able to partner with an organisation as experienced and respected as The Salvation Army,” Mrs Bennett says.
“We are delighted to be able to partner with the Government to develop quality housing that is affordable for tenants and that allows us to continue growing our social housing stock in a sustainable manner,” says Commissioner Robert Donaldson.
The Salvation Army can now begin the process of constructing 50 affordable new houses intended primarily for over-55-year-olds on low incomes in Royal Oak, Auckland.
“Community providers like The Salvation Army have fantastic frontline skills and knowledge and are well placed to support vulnerable people in their area,” Mrs Bennett says.
“We have made changes to be more flexible and long-term in the way we contract to promote growth and enable greater innovation from the community sector.”
“We congratulate the Government on making the changes necessary to support our social housing development and help more people and families who desperately need assistance,” says Commissioner Donaldson.
Through the Income Related Rent Subsidy, the Government will guarantee 100% of market rent on these properties, but tenants’ rent will be capped at 25% of their income.
“This delivers a better deal for our tenants and also makes this a financially viable project for The Salvation Army,” Commissioner Donaldson says.
The next steps for The Salvation Army are to confirm architectural plans and appoint a project development team. The building process is a priority, with tenants expected to take up residence in 2018.