In 2008, in response to a growing number of requests from the community for grants for housing projects, Foundation North commissioned external research into the housing sector.
One of the key findings was that housing is a core factor in the health and wellbeing of families and the development of strong communities. The Foundation identified that social housing was an area where it could have a significant impact and the Community Housing Projects (CHP) fund was introduced.
The fund provided a small number of proven social housing providers with multi-year funding, as well as support for project development, organisational capacity and evaluation. This was a new model of grant making for the Foundation, aimed at making a substantial difference in the community and focused on preventing or resolving homelessness or emergency housing issues for youth, women, and Māori and Pacific communities.
In 2010 the Foundation granted seven organisations a total of $1.95 million in multi-year funding. In 2011 four organisations were granted a total of $1.44 million.
The social housing outcomes are likely to be seen over the long term, but the Foundation has continued to provide capacity development support to assist in development and implementation of the 11 programmes underway.
The strategic intent of the fund has clearly been met. The long-term funding commitment by the Foundation has successfully helped these providers develop and implement innovative programmes they otherwise could not have implemented, to assist many people to move out of housing crisis or vulnerability. However, there is a strong message from the housing providers that there is still a considerable and growing need out there.
In 2013 the Foundation produced an evaluation report, which you can download here.