Māori housing groups to trial home-ownership initiative

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Three iwi and two Māori housing groups will trial a Te Puni Kōkiri home ownership initiative to help low to median income whānau towards owning their own homes.

Chief Executive Michelle Hippolite has announced they will work with the five rōpū to co-design home ownership trials under the $9mil Te Ara Mauwhare initiative. 
“It’s critical that we try other ways of getting more Māori into home ownership," says Hippolite, "Only 43 percent of Māori own a home compared to 63 per cent of the general population.”

Among the rōpū to co-design the trials with the support of TPK capital seed grant funding are Te Tihi o Ruahine Whānau Ora Alliance in Palmerston North, and Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga in the Hawkes Bay.
Te Tihi o Ruahine Whānau Ora Alliance are trialing a rent-to-own arrangement where whānau will accumulate sufficient capital to buy their homes outright.

Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga are trialing a co-housing arrangement, where several whānau could buy a group of homes, and live according to kaupapa Māori.  

The iwi rōpū are Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust; Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Porou, and the Chatham Islands Housing Partnership Trust.
They will trial a shared equity model.  Iwi would leave some capital in the home, supported by a temporary TPK grant, while whānau can accumulate enough capital to obtain bank finance and buy the house outright.
“These trials provide us with an opportunity to consider different ways of supporting whānau on a pathway to realise their housing aspirations.”
Te Ara Mauwhare will use $9mil over three years to trial new ways to help low to median income whānau Māori to move towards home ownership.
The Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta launched the three year trial in June this year.  The first trial is with He Korowai Trust in Kaitāia, who are working with Te Puni Kōkiri to help low-income whānau get on the home ownership ladder.
All of the trials include financial literacy support to help whānau decide whether they are ready for home ownership through Sorted Kāinga Ora.