Social Housing Reform

Published: 24 November 2016

Proposed transfer of some HNZ properties to other providers.

 

The Government’s Social Housing Reform Programme (SHRP) aims to increase the range of housing providers and services for those who need social housing assistance in New Zealand. As part of this programme, the Government is in the process of looking at transferring ownership and management of some Housing New Zealand houses in selected areas to registered Community Housing Providers (CHPs).

You can find out more about the Social Housing Reform Programme (external link) here.

 

Information for tenants

If you are in a transfer area, which at this stage includes Tauranga and Christchurch, please be assured that Housing New Zealand is committed to ensuring you are well-informed and respected as the Government’s reform programme progresses.

If your landlord changes through a Social Housing Reform transfer:

  • You will continue to be housed for as long as you are eligible for social housing.
  • Your rent will not change as a result of having a new landlord.
  • You will have the same rights as you do now, and the community housing provider will have the same responsibilities as Housing New Zealand has now.
  • You will need to change who you pay your rent to – we will let you know how to do this.
  • The properties will have to remain in use as social houses and cannot be sold unless the Government agrees otherwise.
  • Eligibility for social housing will continue to be assessed by the Ministry of Social Development, as it is now.
  • Housing New Zealand will be in touch every step of the way and support a seamless transition to your new landlord.

If you need to talk about your property or tenancy, you can call Housing New Zealand free on 0800 801 601 8am-8pm Monday to Friday or 24/7 for urgent calls.

To talk about your benefit, a change in circumstances or to apply for social housing, you can call the Ministry of Social Development (external link) on 0800 673 468.

 

Current potential transfers

Tauranga

Current stage: Preferred bidder (new provider selected, subject to negotiations with Government)

The Tauranga Transfer, once confirmed, would see around 1130 properties transferred to a community housing provider (CHP). On 12 August 2016, the Government announced its selection of Accessible Properties as the preferred provider.

Once negotiations are concluded, tenants in Tauranga are expected to get a new landlord in early 2017. Housing New Zealand is working hard to ensure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible for staff and tenants.

 

Christchurch

Current stage: Announcement

On 24 November 2016, the Government announced that it is exploring the possibility of transferring Housing New Zealand properties and tenancies in Christchurch to a new landlord.

If the transfer goes ahead, the new landlord will be a Government-registered community housing provider. These non-Government organisations are already the landlords for more than 7500 properties all over New Zealand. Most of them work closely with tenants and can connect them with support services where needed. Community housing providers are also regulated and monitored to make sure they look after tenants and their property.

In Christchurch, there is likely to be a transfer of a number of properties and tenancies to one at-scale community housing provider. At this time, indications are that there would be a transfer of between 2000-2500 properties in Bryndwr, Shirley and Riccarton. The final number is still subject to market sounding. If a transfer proceeds, Housing New Zealand would retain a significant presence in Christchurch.

Read the Government’s announcement (external link) here.

 

Past transfers

Horowhenua/Otaki

Current stage: Not proceeding.

On 22 November 2016, the Government announced that it will not proceed with the proposed transfer of ownership and management of Housing New Zealand houses in Horowhenua and Ōtaki, as signalled earlier this year. This means that houses in the area will remain under Housing New Zealand ownership and tenants will not be getting a new landlord in the foreseeable future.

The Government was exploring bundling 250 Housing New Zealand properties with 115 Horowhenua District Council properties to sell to a community housing provider.

Read the Government’s announcement (external link) here.

 

Tāmaki Portfolio Transfer - complete

The Government transferred ownership and management of all Housing New Zealand properties in Tāmaki to the Tāmaki Regeneration Company (TRC) on 31 March 2016.

Click here for more information.

 

Information for Community Housing Providers

Providers who would like more information about the process for the proposed transfer or who want to register their interest as a social housing provider should visit www.treasury.govt.nz/statesector/socialhousing (external link) .

 

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