Sector Engagement with the Establishment Unit (EU)

Aug 14, 2014 | News

The project is a chance to have deep engagement into shaping the terms on which IRRS, stock transfers, social housing grant and other capital can work from a CHO’s perspective. The project is unique in that it isn’t repeating the cycle where government does a consultation document then asks us what we think – this is our chance to put forward scenarios that work from the CHO’s perspective.

We expect to confirm the scope of work and provide a special issue of the newsletter focused on this project.

As part of the engagement, John Park, Director of the EU met with the Auckland Community Housing Providers’ Network (ACHPN) yesterday. Many have expressed concern that this is yet another delaying exercise, and in response, the EU have released the cabinet papers from April and May that provide a fuller picture of government’s intent. Please read them – and let CHA know whether you can reach the view that this process is a real step forward- or not.

The Cabinet Papers can be read here and are titled ‘The next steps in building a social housing market’ and the summary chart ‘Social Housing – Supplier Development next steps’ provided context and prompted questions and discussion.

John set out his Unit’s mandate to advise Ministers Bill English (Finance) and Dr Nick Smith (Housing) on how to build the social housing market. He indicated that there is strong political will and mandate to achieve this regardless of the outcome of the election. With the report due to Ministers by the end of November 2014, over the next three months, the Unit will focus on engaging with the relevant stakeholders to appraise options and develop policy that will form the basis of a series of recommendations for building the social housing market.

He outlined the strength and breadth of the Unit that has Treasury, MBIE, MSD and CHRA (SHU) staff and advisors to ensure that its report encompasses both purchaser and provider perspectives and a reflects a high level of stakeholder engagement.

The Network presented a compelling case for having an integral role in this engagement process and in the building of the social housing market by outlining their individual and collective governance, management and development capacity and expertise. John Park was asked about potential transaction scenarios, the likely mechanisms for transactions and about how the Unit is seeking to build the New Zealand social housing market in the context of international experience.

The Unit’s engagement with the sector- both through the CHA project and directly with members will help to ensure significant CHO input into the process.

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