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Media Statement: Transfer of social housing in Tauranga and Invercargill proceeding to next phase

Page updated 17 August 2015

The proposed transfer of approximately 1140 Tauranga and approximately 370 Invercargill Housing New Zealand (HNZ) properties and tenancies to registered Community Housing Providers (CHPs) will proceed to the next phase of the commercial transaction process, market sounding, beginning on August 31st.

As part of the Social Housing Reform Programme (SHRP), the Government has proposed to transfer some HNZ houses and tenancies to CHPs to support the development of the community housing sector and enable better outcomes for tenants.

The Government announced in May that it was considering houses and tenancies in Tauranga and Invercargill for the first transfers.

Ministers and Cabinet have now considered the findings of the recently concluded iwi consultation process. Consultation confirmed Ngāti Ranginui has 115 Right of First Refusal (RFR) properties within the Tauranga proposed transaction area and Ngāi Tahu has three RFR properties within the Invercargill proposed transaction area.

These properties will be excluded from the open and competitive commercial process. We are working directly with Ngāti Ranginui and Ngaī Tahu on how to include the properties within the SHRP. The discussions will focus on realising both the Government’s RFR obligations as well as the objectives of the SHRP.

Housing NZ tenants in Invercargill and Tauranga will continue to be housed for the duration of their needs, even if the properties and tenancies are transferred to a CHP.

For more information on the housing transfer process go to: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/statesector/socialhousing.

Background

The Social Housing Reform Programme (SHRP) is designed to get more people in need into quality social housing - either through Housing New Zealand Corporation (HNZC) or registered Community Housing Providers (CHPs). The objectives of the Social Housing Reform Programme are to:

  • Ensure people who need housing support can get it and receive social services that meet their needs.
  • Ensure social housing is the right design and size and is in the right place for people who need it.
  • Help social housing tenants to independence, as appropriate.
  • Encourage and develop more diverse ownership of social housing, with more innovation and responsiveness to tenants and communities.
  • Increase affordable housing supply.

The SHRP will:

  • Increase Government funding for social housing.  The number of subsidised tenancies available through the Income-Related Rent Subsidy (IRRS) will increase from 62,000 to 65,000 by 2018
  • Include a transfer of houses and tenancies to registered CHPs who are eligible to be paid market rent via the IRRS
  • Enable registered CHPs to provide more social housing in partnership with the Government
  • Over time, integrate housing services better with other support tenants may need, e.g. budgeting, mental health services and moving towards housing independence.

The Government has five bottom lines for the SHRP:

  • HNZC and CHPs will provide more social housing places than currently exist, particularly in Auckland and Christchurch.
  • HNZC will continue to own the most of the country’s social housing properties and will own at least 60,000 by 2017, down from around 68,000 in 2015.
  • Properties will only be sold if this results in better outcomes for tenants and fair and reasonable value for taxpayers.
  • Tenants in properties being sold will be continue to be housed for the duration of their need – and their rights and interests will be protected, whoever owns their house.
  • The Government will spend more on Income Related Rent subsidies and ensure HNZC has enough capital to build new social houses plus develop its existing properties.

Social Housing Commercial Transfer Process

  • During market sounding we will obtain feedback from potential market participants on their level of interest in the transaction and whether the proposed commercial terms will deliver the outcomes we are seeking.
  • Potential participants will need to register their interest on the Government Electronic Tenders Service (GETS) from today to receive a copy of the Information Memorandum which will be available to them for download on August 31st.
  • If approved, the next phases in the commercial transfer process will then be an Expression of Interest, Request for Proposal and Preferred Bidder and Close.

Contact for enquiries

Kimberley Brady | Communications Specialist
Tel: +64 4 890 7418 or (021) 815 244
Email: kimberley.brady@treasury.govt.nz
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