Hastings District Council’s ground-breaking collaborative approach to addressing the district’s critical housing shortage has been recognised with a national award.
Last night, the council received the BERL Award for Collaborative Government Action for its Place Based Housing Solution at the Taituarā – Local Government Professionals Aotearoa Awards.
The award recognised the outstanding results that had been achieved through the combined efforts of government agencies, mana whenua, community support groups working on the coalface to address housing needs in the community, and council.
Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said that as an organisation and a community it was an honour to be recognised for our work to deliver housing for our people through this award.
“Our strong partnerships have allowed us to develop our Hastings Placed Based Housing Plan with 26 actions to bring homes to our people.
“Our council is committed and determined to get quality, heathy homes to our community as quickly as possible. Getting whānau out of motels and temporary accommodation is one of our council’s highest priorities, and it’s going to take a huge effort by all parties to work together to deliver the homes we need for Hastings district.”
The plan emerged at a time when the waitlist for social housing in Hastings had increased from 57 people to approximately 640 in five years, and like the rest of the country pressure for housing across the board had become critical.
Hastings District Council chief executive Nigel Bickle said it was evident there needed to be a way to work with a range of partners, including the Government, using the resources available to put solutions in place.
“I’m proud on behalf of the council and our partners with what we have been doing over the last couple of years – collaboratively trying to deliver on the inalienable human right to have shelter, for whānau to have safe, dry, warm homes.
“Hard work has gone into this, but there’s no doubt there’s still a lot more hard work to do ahead.”
Over the last year this work has resulted in: three new papakāinga developments; two mixed model housing developments, with another three well advanced in the planning, available to people who will be living in their own homes; ongoing progress with major residential subdivision developments; dedicated seasonal worker accommodation to take pressure off the rental market; changes to district plan rules to encourage higher density and inner city housing; and Crown funding for accelerated social housing projects.
Overall building consents rose 46 per cent from 2019 to 534 in 2020, with a continued focus on protecting the district’s premium fertile growing soils.
On presenting the award the judges said: “Housing is New Zealand’s largest public policy challenge, but its effects are felt primarily at a local level.
“This is an excellent example of a council taking a leadership role to identify a local issue and mobilise a diverse collection of actors to deliver an outcome in actual bricks and mortar.
“This is another example of the community-based solution that Parliament intended when it restored well-being to the statutory purpose of local government in 2019.”
7 May 2021
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