The ownership of the properties has changed but the houses remain social houses just as they were before the transfer. Tenants’ rent remains the same, as do their rights, and they remain eligible for social housing for the duration of their need.
There will be 153 more social housing places in Tauranga as a result of the transfer, and Housing New Zealand will use the transfer proceeds to build more social houses in the areas of most demand.
Examples of the innovations Accessible Properties will provide in Tauranga include:
- a higher tenancy manager: tenant ratio
- close links between tenancy management and Tauranga social support agencies
- proactive approaches to debt management and anti-social behaviour
- methamphetamine testing before re-letting properties
- giving tenants a voice through a group to advise on social housing needs
- repairing 2600 identified property defects within two years.
The contracts signed between the Crown and Accessible Properties in December 2016 are the first contracts for large-scale provision of social housing by a registered Community Housing Provider. While they are specific to the Tauranga transfer, these contracts are likely to form the basis of any future similar large-scale transfers.
To aid public transparency, and to better inform potential participants in future social housing transfers, the Capacity Contract and Sale and Purchase Agreement for the Tauranga social housing transfer are available on the site here.