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Stock Transfers - A Way Forward for 20% of State Housing

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Stock Transfers - A Way Forward for 20% of State Housing

Community Housing Aotearoa together with the Auckland Community Housing Providers Network and Te Matapihi have released a proposal calling for the establishment of an independent negotiating partner to facilitate the transfer of up to 20% of state housing and the associated operations to Community Housing Organisations (CHOs). “This is about supporting local communities to make decisions about how best to grow their local organisations to meet local housing need, with the best possible outcomes for local families” said Scott Figenshow, Director of CHA.

“This paper has been developed through input from our partner organisations around the country, and represents one of the many steps in the housing reform programme.” “There is a clear role for an independent organization to help expedite the transfer of housing stock to both Iwi and CHOs noting that progress to date in this area has been glacial,” said Rau Hoskins, Chairperson of Te Matapihi.

The proposal sets out three key principles any such transfer would need to meet:

- A Tenant Charter: tenant interests are protected, ongoing affordability is assured, and quality of housing is improved. Tenant consultation is embedded in the process;

- Government Investment is protected by transfer to Registered non-profit organisations that will preserve, reinvest and recycle the investment- as stipulated by their charters;

- Strategic stock configuration decisions are handled independently of HNZC to ensure they are fit for purpose, meeting local market, social, and affordability needs.

“Some may be concerned that this reflects a step toward privatisation by stealth. We believe community ownership by a properly structured non-profit, not for dividend community housing organisation is a better vehicle for holding and recycling public investment than the state.

Today’s models can deliver better results, with a blend of proper resources” said Auckland Community Housing Providers Network Chair Peter Jeffries. “Experience here and overseas has shown that such transfers have positive community outcomes. An evaluation of any stock transfers that might proceed would be prudent to confirm whether the benefits have been realized, before a wider programme were undertaken.” The full paper is available at www.communityhousing.org.nz

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