28 Apr 2014

Call to speed up state house transfer

10:37 pm on 28 April 2014

An advocacy body for Maori housing is calling for the Government to set up an independent body to speed up the process of handing over state houses to iwi.

Abandoned state houses in Christchurch.

Abandoned state houses, Avonside, Christchurch. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Te Matapihi and Community Housing Aotearoa has made the recommendation to deal with what's being called a "stock transfer" of state houses to iwi and other community roopu.

The transfer of some state houses to iwi was signalled as part of the social housing reforms.

But Te Matapihi chair, Rau Hoskins, says the process is taking too long.

He says an independent body is needed to facilitate the transfers, in order for community groups to get a fair deal.

Mr Hoskins says Housing New Zealand has a conflict of interest because it has to deliver maximum dividends, but also provide 20% of its houses to the Community Housing sector by 2020.

Community Housing Aotearoa says the government department has offered to meet with it and discuss the idea of an independent body.