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New landlord for 1138 homes in Tauranga welcomed

Media release 30 March 2017

New landlord for 1138 homes in Tauranga welcomed

New Zealand community housing provider, Accessible Properties, has completed the process to purchase and manage the tenancies of 1138 households in Tauranga from April 1, 2017. The move is a significant step forward in helping address New Zealand’s social housing crisis.

“Community Housing Aotearoa welcomes this transfer and the future innovations we hope it brings to social housing in Tauranga,” says Chief Executive, Scott Figenshow.

““It’s important that this transfer improve the situation for tenants – and it’s good to see that Accessible Properties is promising to build another 153 homes in the Tauranga area.

“But equally important is that Accessible Properties is given the climate from which to succeed and from which social housing can be delivered in a better way than has been done in the past.
“Government is responsible for getting this climate right,” says Scott Figenshow.

“In years to come people will look back at this period as a turning point in how New Zealand viewed social housing and the needs of people living in these homes. Social housing is more than putting a roof over someone’s head – it is about creating vibrant communities living in warm healthy homes,” says Scott Figenshow.

Accessible Properties is a registered community housing provider. This means they’ve had to comply with rigorous standards in tenancy, financial and housing management. As a registered charity operating on a tax exempt basis, profits from housing investments go straight back into housing improvements, creating more homes for the tenants they prioritise: people with disabilities, older people and those on low income.

Scott Figenshow. says the Government has clearly recognised the value of local providers like Accessible Properties as a safe pair of hands in the social housing sector.

“They’re in the business they know – providing quality homes to New Zealand’s most vulnerable and they’ve been doing it for decades.

With the transfer of Tauranga’s 1138 homes to Accessible Properties the organisation will be managing more than 2700 social houses from April 1.

“It’s great to see one of New Zealand’s long-standing and respected community housing providers come through such a competitive tender process which included international and for-profit competition.

“We now need to see other registered community housing providers given the same opportunities through access to capital and long term funding to increase their size and help grow the social housing supply and reduce housing stress.”

Scott Figenshow says the completion of commercial negotiations with the government has been a long one for Accessible Properties and the other parties who originally entered these negotiations.

“We have said all along that the commercial process government has used for stock transfers has not been in the best interests of activating the best opportunities for tenants across the affordable housing continuum, nor activating all of the available capacity in the community housing and commercial sectors. We continually offer to work with them to design a new process that would grow capacity and expand community housing provider’s ability to support tenants.”



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