When Charities can Provide Housing
Providing housing can be charitable, but it needs to be connected to a charitable purpose. What does this mean? Charitable purposes must have a public benefit and not just create private benefits for people who aren’t in need. Case law says that housing is a basic need and right, but home ownership itself is not.
Many amazing registered charities achieve their purposes, like relieving poverty or regenerating urban or rural areas, by providing a variety of housing options throughout Aotearoa.
You can check out: Sector-Showcase-Design-Island-Child-Charitable-Trust-2-1.pdf (charities.govt.nz) that provides transitional homes for whānau experiencing homelessness.
Charities can, and do, support people into housing in a huge range of ways – whether it’s emergency housing, cheaper rentals, or home ownership. However, not all groups that support people into homes qualify as a charity. Having a purpose to make it easier for people to own homes is not itself charitable. If your group intends to offer a home ownership programme, we recommend getting in touch before you apply and we can discuss whether your group might qualify for registration.
Source: Charities Services website, accessed 21 June 2022. Charities Services | Myth busting: when charities can provide housing
Got questions? Please get in touch! Charities Services.
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