Māori Party Housing Strategy brings HOPE for Pasefika Aiga to Own a Home. A Pasefika Perspective

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Esther Tofilau-Tevaga, Māori Party Housing Strategy brings HOPE for Pasefika Aiga to Own a Home. A Pasefika Perspective

Esther Tofilau-Tevaga, Māori Party Housing Strategy brings HOPE for Pasefika Aiga to Own a Home. A Pasefika Perspective

‘Pasefika and Māori aiga and whānau have the lowest rates of home ownership; the highest rates of homelessness; and the highest rates of poverty’... according to Esther Tofilau- Tevaga, Māori Party Candidate for Mangere.

The Aotearoa dream...’for everyone, no matter where they reside in Aotearoa, should live in a safe, warm, healthy and affordable Fale – a place to call home.

Unfortunately for a significant number of Tagata Pasefika, it is not the case’...says Esther Tofilau-Tevaga. ‘The dream of home ownership for Pasefika families is just but a forgotten dream, until the singing of the Agreement between One Pacific (...on behalf of Pasefika people and their communities) and the Māori Party to work together and identify realistic and meaningful solutions to their common priority areas of needs, including affordable and social housing.

Thank you Māori Party!’ ‘The dream of many Pasefika families to own a home in Aotearoa is now a real possibility. It is achievable by adopting the following key housing policies and strategy of the Māori Party that will lift the home ownership stake for Pasefika families’:

• Create a Minister for Māori and Pacific Housing to address the complex challenges, from homelessness to home ownership, which high numbers of Māori and Pacific families face.

• Build 30,000 houses over 2018/19 and a further 30,000 houses over 2019- 2022 comprised of a mixture of social housing and apartment housing developments in Auckland and 30,000 houses over three years in other areas of NZ where whānau experience severe housing deprivation. (Pacific people and their communities wish to be part of this housing development and home ownership initiative.)

• Introduce options for ‘rent to buy’ and ‘equity financing’ for first time home buyers.

• Re-introduce the Māori Affairs low interest housing loans for Māori and Pacific families and support an overall government approach to helping all low-income families to access low interest housing loans.

• Enable whānau to capitalise on their family support allowance as a deposit for a home.

• Return to the capitalisation of the family benefit to target support where it matters most – for younger children and larger families. • Deliver financial literacy and budgeting support for successful low-interest housing loan applicants.

• Subsidise private developers to include a percentage of affordable housing in their projects. (Pacific people and their communities wish to be part of these social housing projects.) • Extend the Home Ownership Pathways trials.

• Increase the number of qualified Māori and Pacific across the whole construction sector through initiatives such as trades training, and scholarships for Māori and Pacific, to develop their corporate skills in the construction industry with the aim to ‘...build houses for the nation and for our Pasefika specific housing needs’.

‘Finally, my Pasefika perspective tells me that...’for the majority of our Pacific families, home ownership in Aotearoa is achievable but only by doing it together with Māori and the Māori Party’...according to Esther Tofilau-Tevaga, Māori Party Candidate for Mangere.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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