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Housing push for Auckland Pacific Islanders

LAURA WALTERS
Last updated 18:43 31/05/2014

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A new housing push targeting getting Pacific Island Aucklanders into homes launched today. 

The initiative to improve home ownership among Auckland's Pacific Island community is not a silver bullet but aims to lay the foundations of good financial literacy.

Auckland Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse launched the Turanga initiative in Manukau today.

The three-year pilot programme, which aims to improve the overall financial position of Pacific families, would include 20 families each year.

Hulse said almost half of all Pacific Aucklanders were living in crowded households and were likely to experience long-term indebtedness. 

''There are significant challenges for many Aucklanders to become home-owners, but it can be especially hard for the Pacific community to get a foot on Auckland's housing ladder.''

Hulse said the push behind the programme came from the bigger Auckland housing issue.

However, Pacific communities were the most vulnerable when it came to home ownership and overcrowding, she said.

In 15 to 20 years, more than 12 per cent of the working-age population aged 15-39 would be of Pacific origin and if they were not able to get onto the housing ladder, it would have a significant impact on them, their families and the wider Auckland community, Hulse said. 

''It would be unfair to our communities and families to think that it would be a silver bullet.''

The programme was about giving Pacific Aucklanders the chance to even consider buying a house in the future, she said.

It was unclear how long this initiative would take to translate into increased home ownership in the Pacific Island community, she said.

Hulse said Auckland Council needed to work with central government to put in place financial programmes to help improve home ownership.

Council arts and community development staff would help facilitate the programme that would allow the families to work with different agencies to develop a financial programme tailored to them.

The council did not have absolute targets for home ownership within the Pacific Island community but the Auckland housing plan included the aim of increasing home ownership in Auckland, especially within Maori and Pacific communities, Hulse said.

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