Prepared by Christian Stearns, August 2012
with funding from the sponsors of the Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowships in Public Policy
Christian Stearns is the former Director of the Greensboro Field Office of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development in Greensboro, North Carolina. Christian has served over twenty years developing housing and community assets at the local and federal government levels. He specializes in sustainable development.
Following his Axford Fellowship Christian will return to his home state of Florida, where he will be build sustainable communities with a national non-profit organization – Builders of Hope.
During Christian’s Ian Axford Fellowship exchange to New Zealand he was based at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, where he researched the use of sustainability as a framework for social housing in New Zealand.
The global economic crisis and related housing issues have led the New Zealand government to reappraise one of its largest assets – social housing. Similarly, the United States seeks to reform its public housing. This is an exploration of current social housing reform in New Zealand. The report uses an Action Research Model to Think, Plan, Act and Measure social housing policy.
Using Appreciative Inquiry, the report highlights unique New Zealand policy foundations and tries to build upon them to help construct sustainable social housing policy. Hopefully, some of these materials and designs can be exported to the United States to help rebuild sustainable public housing and communities.
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