​Hosting housing colleagues in Wellington

On behalf of the Australasian Housing Institute, CHA hosted a delegation of housing officials from the US-based National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO).

Chris Glaudel, CHA; Laurie Putscher, Henrietta Snipes and Mary Jo Kabab all from NAHRO; Hayley Hamilton, MSD; and Tyra Duncan-Hall, NAHRO at the MSD office in Wellington

They had been in Australia to attend the National Housing Conference and the AHI Awards Dinner. After visiting with community housing providers across the ditch, four members arrived in Wellington on 7 December to learn about social and affordable housing in New Zealand. On Friday, they had a full day of meetings and site visits around Wellington which you can read about here.

The delegation members were Henrietta Snipes from the Opelika Housing Authority (Alabama), Laurie Putscher with the District of Columbia Housing Authority (Washington D.C.), Mary Jo Jakab with the South Portland Housing Authority (Maine) and Tyra Duncan-Hall from the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (Texas).

At Arlington apartments with Graham Budd of WCC

The morning started with a breakfast meeting hosted by Housing New Zealand who provided an overview of their activities. Common issues of portfolio regeneration and neighbourhood design were discussed. We next went to meet with Ministry of Social Development and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials. Similarities and differences in housing subsidies, data collection and funding were identified. The NAHRO visitors emphasised that their housing is a tool to contribute to broader community outcomes. Laurie Putscher, Director of Asset Management of the District of Columbia Housing Authority remarked that their assets are defined as the homes the own, the residents who live in them and the neighbourhoods of which they are a part. This is a very different view to a limited financial statement analysis we commonly hear.

The next part of the visit took us to view the Centennial Apartments (HNZC) and Regent Park Apartments (WCC) before stopping at the Arlington Apartments in central Wellington. The Arlington is undergoing a complete regeneration by City Housing, bringing increased numbers of newly built homes over several phases to replace aging stock. Wellington’s City Housing staff hosted lunch in the community room of their refurbished Central Park Apartments. Alison Cadman with Dwell Housing Trust joined for the lunch and provided a site visit to see an infill development in Brooklyn consisting of affordable rental and shared ownership. By late afternoon, we wrapped up and allowed our colleagues to enjoy a wonderfully sunny Wellington day.

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