Affordable Housing and Church Land

Affordable Housing and Church Land

During 2017 we undertook research to explore the ability for Church land to be made available for social and affordable housing.  Our research revealed that there was significant interest from Parishes and Dioceses in social and affordable housing and a willingness to see land made available.  However, very little land was being made available because of a lack of clarity about the process to enable this and a lack of capacity within Church entities to deliver social and affordable housing projects. In response to this we partnered with the Diocese of Wellington, the New Zealand Housing Foundation and Christian Savings to develop a new entity / structure that could provide the capacity required by Church entities to enable land to be used effectively for social and affordable housing.  this partnership led to the creation of Affordable Housing Aotearoa late in 2017:

Affordable Housing Aotearoa (AHA)
AHA is a charitable company designed to further enable the Anglican Church to be a leading player nationally inspiring and resourcing social and affordable housing initiatives.
At its simplest AHA provides a go to place for donations – be they small scale from individuals and parishes or large scale from Diocesan and Church balance sheets.  All of the donations received by AHA will be applied to generate tangible housing outcomes for families with low to moderate household incomes.

AHA will also be a pan-church vehicle and pool of expertise that supports parishes, Dioceses and Church based entities to succeed with their own housing initiatives, either by directly developing them or by being a partner working alongside other entities in the local area / community.

The founders of the charitable company are BAF – Bishop’s Action Foundation (Diocese of Waikato & Taranaki) and The Bishop’s Community Development Trust (Diocese of Wellington) with advice and support from the New Zealand Housing Foundation and Christian Savings.

AHA has four main aims:

Demonstrate leadership
Commit to faith in action. We will inspire, coordinate and implement changes in the way we the Church applies resources to address the most pressing need in our communities.

Deliver “real” housing outcomes
Through the involvement of our church working in partnership with public, private and community sector entities we will develop new mixed integrated neighbourhoods that assist people and households on low to moderate incomes to attain affordable housing.

Empower Communities
We will work with a co-operative model that brings together the interests of the wider community and ensures a holistic approach to assisting individual households with their specific housing needs. Community ownership will enable solutions for neighbourhoods that are healthy and affordable over the long term, where people take responsibility for themselves and each other.

Initiate innovative housing solutions
We will create a wider range of affordable housing options by forming partnerships to shape policy, pilot new products and instigate sustainable housing solutions.