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Government open to social housing options

Hon Bill English

Minister Responsible for Housing New Zealand Corporation

Hon Paula Bennett

Minister for Social Housing


27 May 2016 Media Statement
Government open to social housing options

The Government has a wide range of work underway to progress social housing reforms that will help the community housing sector grow and innovate, Ministers Bill English and Paula Bennett say.

The Government is committed to transferring between 1000-2000 properties to registered community housing providers this year under its Social Housing Reform Programme.

The PACT group has decided to withdraw from the process to buy and manage 348 Housing New Zealand (HNZ) houses in Invercargill after the group decided the transaction wasn’t the best opportunity for them to achieve their aspiration of providing services to the community.

“PACT was the only party invited to submit a proposal for the Invercargill transaction so we have put this procurement process on hold until we can assess other options,” Housing New Zealand Minister Bill English says.

Meanwhile, the Ministers have today confirmed the Government is considering a proposal by Horowhenua District Council to explore a joint transfer of council flats and HNZ properties to a community housing provider.

The council has proposed to ‘package’ its 115 pensioner units with 250 HNZ properties and tenancies in Foxton, Levin and Shannon.

Mr English says before any decision to move the proposal forward is made, the Government is consulting local iwi on their Treaty of Waitangi rights and interests.

That process will run until 1 July.

“If those discussions are positive, we would then look to outline a joint commercial process with the council,” he says.

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett says any potential transaction within the Social Housing Reform Programme must put the needs of the tenants first.

“While I am disappointed that PACT is no longer participating in the Invercargill transaction, their decision should reassure social housing tenants that the process is robust and that interested parties have enough information to make the best decision for themselves and the tenants,” she says.

“The procurement process for the 1,134 properties and tenancies in Tauranga is still underway and progressing well.

“These transfers are only one part of the overall social housing reform programme. As we look at options such as the opportunity in Horowhenua, we will always put the tenants and their needs first.”

Further details about the Social Housing Reform Programme are available atwww.socialhousing.govt.nz


ends

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