Sale of Nelson community housing could fuel further investment

Mar 27, 2019 | News


The Renwick Flats on Examiner Street – photo by Martin de Ruyter/Stuff

The amount of community housing in Nelson could expand if council’s proposal to sell its portfolio to other housing providers is approved.

In its 2019/2020 Annual Plan Consultation Document, the Nelson City Council has outlined its plan to sell off all 142 properties in its community housing portfolio.

The document is set to be adopted at a council meeting on Wednesday, before going out for public consultation.

The recommendation is to sell the properties to one or multiple social housing providers.

READ MORE:
* Anxious wait taking its toll on Nelson council housing residents
* Nelson’s community houses are up for sale, but tenants won’t be ousted
* Addressing Nelson’s ‘wicked, complex’ housing problems

Initial negotiations were made with Housing New Zealand about selling the portfolio, with the Nelson Tasman Housing Trust subsequently making a proposal to purchase the units.

Other local providers, including Abbeyfield and Habitat for Humanity, have also expressed an interest in being partners.

Mayor Rachel Reese said the proposal was driven by a need to create more social housing in Nelson.

“In the past three years demand for social housing has grown incredibly.”

Reese said the council’s waitlist hit all time highs in the past year, with up to 60 people on it at the same time.

The Nelson Tasman Housing Trust currently has the ability to bring in five new vacancies per year, and are averaging about five inquiries per week.

“There is insufficient social housing in Nelson, so we’ve looked at how we can leverage our resources,” Reese said.

“We believe we have an opportunity by partnering with others, and giving them the opportunity to be the owners of land, they can use that as security for capital development.”

With the sale of the housing portfolio, the council is proposing to use the proceeds to fund further investments in social housing.

However, any future investment would be in partnership with other organisations, with the council not seeking to own or act as landlord for any future properties.

The current housing situation is also creating a financial strain for the council, with upcoming maintenance and upgrades to the housing portfolio estimated to cost about $20 million.

Costs previously covered by rents are now being subsidised by rates to the tune of about $160,000 per year (or $8 per ratepayer).

The current housing portfolio has a net book value of $8.38m, with Quotable Value Ltd calculating the rateable value of the land as $16.5m in September 2018.

If the sale of the portfolio were equal to the net book value of $8.38m, there would be a $521,000 saving in rates ($361,000 from interest costs, $160,000 from annual council spending).

Currently 152 people live in community housing in Nelson, mainly in the over 55 and over 65 age bracket.

The consultation document states the council will negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding with the purchasers, outlining plans to upgrade community housing, maintain the current amount of units, and consider the wellbeing of tenants in the design.

Current tenants would likely have to be reassessed for eligibility, although council expected all would be able to continue their tenancy.

While a Memorandum of Understanding is not legally binding, the council considered the risk of a provider not following it would be minimised by restricting purchasers “to those who have a demonstrable commitment to providing community housing”.

Along with council’s preferred proposal there are six other options in the consultation document, from retaining the current model to private sale on the open market.

Submissions on the consultation plan will open to the public on March 29, with all submissions to be received by council by 5pm on May 2.

Recent articles

Annual Report

2021/22 CHA Annual Report

2021/22 CHA Annual Report

Strategic Plan

CHA’s 2022-2023 Strategic Workplan

CHA’s 2022-2023 Strategic Workplan

Featured Network

Residential Tenancies Act Community of Practice

Residential Tenancies Act Community of Practice

Our Place

Our Place Report 2017

Our Place Report 2017

Case Studies

Media Releases

News

Newsletters

Community Housing Aotearoa newsletter – November 28, 2022

Welcome to our latest newsletter. We cover the latest staff news, we seek feedback on our Conference topics, outline what submissions are currently being prepared, plus highlight a number of community and partner events. Community Housing Aotearoa newsletter November...

Community Housing Aotearoa newsletter – November 14, 2022

Welcome to our latest newsletter. We cover the latest staff news, Auckland's CHP network latest event, we seek feedback on our Conference topics, outline what submissions are currently being prepared, plus highlight a number of community and partner events. Community...

Community Housing Aotearoa Newsletter – October 31, 2022

Welcome to our latest newsletter. We cover the release of our Annual Report and our AGM, we seek feedback on our Conference topics, outline what submissions are currently being prepared, summarise the VUW Interns' work to produce CHRA Registration and Methamphetamine...

Submissions

CHA’s Submission on the Natural and Built Environment Bill

CHA has prepared a submission to the Environment Committee on the Spatial Planning Bill currently at the select committee stage at the time of writing. CHA has consistently advocated for Inclusionary Housing (IH) to be enabled through the RMA reforms. We discuss how...

CHA’s Submission on the Spatial Planning Bill

CHA has prepared a submission to the Environment Committee on the Spatial Planning Bill currently at the select committee stage at the time of writing. CHA has consistently advocated for Inclusionary Housing (IH) to be enabled through the RMA reforms. We discuss how...

CHA’s Submission on the Charities Amendment Bill

CHA submitted to the Social Services and Community Committee on the Charities Amendment Bill. We supported a robust and fully inclusive review be done through an independent body to address underlying issues that our sector faces and ensure lasting charities. The...

Legislation

Reports

CHA 2022 Annual Report and Audited Accounts

What a year for our Community Housing Aotearoa Ngā Wharerau o Aotearoa team. Our Annual Report highlights our service delivery, including: - 16 submissions to central and local government. - 30 trainings and events delivered on topics ranging from public health...

CHA’s Methamphetamine Harm-Reduction Handbook

CHA has developed a Methamphetamine Harm-Reduction Handbook - with consultation from the NZ Drug Foundation - with advice for providers, tenants, and policy-makers. This resource can be read below: Methamphetamine Harm-Reduction Handbook

Research

Community Housing Aotearoa

Contact Us

Contact Info

Level 11, Ranchhod Tower,
39 The Terrace /
102-112 Lambton Quay
PO Box 11543
Wellington 6142

+04 385 8722

support@communityhousing.org.nz

Follow On