New management for local authority housing in Auckland and Christchurch

Aug 25, 2016 | News

Christchurch City Council housing to be managed by Otautahi Community Housing Trust

Christchurch City Council has voted today to turn over management of its nearly 2500-home social housing portfolio to the Otautahi Community Housing Trust.The move was designed to allow access to the Income Related Rent Subsidy which is available to community housing providers but not to councils managing social housing.

As a community housing provider, the Trust would qualify for the government’s Income Related Rent Subsidy of up to 80 percent of market rents.Deputy mayor Vicki Buck said the council would retain a 49 percent stake in the trust with the remainder held by four community groups.”Eighty percent of the rents come back to the council and council will retain the major repair programme, but it will continue to own the social housing stock.”

The council will also vote on handing over $50 million worth of land and housing to the trust to help it develop new homes, with the aim of bringing the number of council flats back up to levels before the earthquakes that hit the region in September 2010 and February 2011.

Not restructuring would have risked the council having to let go of its housing altogether, Ms Buck said. Read more here.

Housing for older Aucklanders to be redeveloped

Auckland Council’s portfolio of homes for older Aucklanders is to be redeveloped and approval has been given to partner withThe Selwyn Foundation for the management of the housing. Many of the 1452* rental units across 63 villages are rundown and poorly located for amenities such as public transport. The city’s urban development agency Panuku Development Aucklandwill ensure the new homes address the needs of older people both in location and quality.The existing number of rental units will be maintained with the potential to develop more over time.

Partnering with The Selwyn Foundation

In December 2015 following a contestable process, council approved The Selwyn Foundation as the preferred partner to deliver services to older people in Auckland. Panuku and council began working with Selwyn to establish a joint venture company as the business model for the partnership.

Added spin-off for home buyers

Panuku Strategy and Engagement Director David Rankin says the redevelopment of the villages has an added spin-off for Aucklanders looking to buy their own home.“We will not only ensure the new homes are fit-for-purpose for our older people but the redevelopment will also enable approximately double the total number of houses on the sites.

“The other houses will be developed by community housing providers and the private sector, and will include a mix of affordable and market-priced homes – all adding to Auckland’s housing supply.”

Rankin says Panuku will make better use of some sites, while others that are not fit-for-purpose will be sold to free up funds for reinvestment in the redevelopment of the villages.

Read more here.

And here is the Radio New Zealand report here.

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