29 Apr 2014

Marae applauds state house move

8:01 am on 29 April 2014

A marae is applauding a paper recommending an independent body to take over Housing New Zealand's plan to transfer state houses to iwi and community roopu, or groups.

Te Matapihi and Community Housing Aotearoa have both called for the body to deal with what's being called a "stock transfer" of state houses to iwi and other community groups.

Te Aranga o Heretaunga marae in Flaxmere proposed a project to the Government in 2012 to buy more than 300 state houses in the rohe, or area.

The project, which is still in the planning process, hopes to sell the homes at affordable prices.

Marae chair Henare O'Keefe says it's clear the present state house model isn't working and he welcomes the paper's recommendations.

Mr O'Keefe believes it's time the government got a move on, because although it may fix the doors and windows of state houses, it is community groups that are there to help the families in those homes.

An advocacy body for Maori housing says iwi and community roopu are better equipped to provide a range of services, not just housing for whanau in state houses.

Te Matapihi chair Rau Hoskins says Housing New Zealand Corporation has stepped away from any other support for whanau.

He says the recommendation would mean the community housing sector can expand its services.