National | Māori Housing

ASB ring-fences portion of ‘innovative’ affordable housing fund for Māori housing

Papakura Marae kaumātua housing.

ASB has announced it is targeting a portion of its new $500 million Accelerated Housing Fund for affordable and social housing, specifically towards Māori housing.

The fund will support the delivery of up to 1000 new homes over the next two years and aims to assist in tackling New Zealand’s housing shortage, the bank says.

The fund will be tailored to reduce financing hurdles experienced by residential developers, social housing investors and for Māori housing, by adjusting key lending metrics and criteria.

“In support of the Reserve Bank’s work around Māori access to capital, a portion of the Accelerated Housing Fund has been targeted towards the purposes of Māori housing development and investment,” ASB executive general manager for business banking, Rebecca James, said Friday.

ASB says it is looking at how it can support housing initiatives with different ownership structures, such as build-to-rent and rent-to-own.

“We are intent on helping more New Zealanders into homes across the spectrum and part of that is ensuring we are an enabler of housing development. We understand that we need to think and act differently to make a meaningful impact on housing, so we’ve adjusted our key lending metrics and criteria for social and affordable housing,” said James.

“We have a role to play in addressing housing supply by supporting development businesses which have the solutions New Zealand needs. With the Accelerated Housing Fund, we’ve evolved the way we lend, making it easier for affordable housing projects to get off the ground. We expect this will see about 4,000 New Zealanders living in new, warm, dry, and sustainable homes in the next 24 months.”

The fund will lend to larger scale projects where the build and sales prices are lower than average. It will also provide social housing investment opportunities to borrowers who have engaged with the Crown, local Councils, not-for-profit organisations, Iwi or Community Housing Providers, with access to longer-term investment funding, ASB said.