CHA offers support to TRC on regeneration in Tamaki
Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA), the peak body for the community housing sector, says moves to transfer Housing New Zealand properties to Tamaki Redevelopment Company (TRC) is a positive step forward in the bid to achieve better outcomes in Tamaki.
“We applaud this announcement for providing some clarity and certainty in this otherwise fraught space – we value this forward-focused announcement. Community must be at the centre of any partnership and community housing organisations can play an important role in supporting that,” Says CHA’s Director Scott Figenshow.
“Perhaps this is a signal that the government is adjusting its financial approach to one based on delivering good quality homes and strong, healthy communities, but we need more details to determine what it actually means.”
His comments follow the government’s announcement today that it will transfer the ownership and management of about 2,800 Housing NZ properties to the TRC.
“We are keen to support TRC to ensure the rights of tenants will be looked after in the process. It is absolutely vital that displacement of tenants is avoided, and this is achievable if there is a well-planned and implemented regeneration process.”
Scott Figenshow says that CHA and community housing providers have a wealth of experience in putting tenants and community first.
“We look forward to working in partnership to ensure that this happens in terms of the best property and tenancy management for Tamaki by the March 2016 transfer date. It is the opportunity to deliver across the housing continuum, from rental to pathways to homeownership – building long-term community ownership at the same time. Regeneration of social and affordable housing is the opportunity and we want to support it being done well for the benefit of the Tamaki community.
“There are a number of unanswered questions and community housing organisations are ready to work alongside TRC and the community in determining the answers. For example, we would expect the TRC to facilitate an open and transparent process with clear benchmarks – that ensures the Tamaki Commitment is fully achieved. That would be a positive step forward.”
Scott Figenshow says that CHA is also keen to know if the government has accepted a reduced land and asset valuation that ensures community ownership and long term affordability.
“With the current income related rent settings it will be nearly impossible for community housing providers to deliver true long term affordability without it or other capital grants.
“CHA’s members, including those of the Auckland Community Housing Providers Network have been saying for some time that they are interested in delivering improved outcomes for families and communities”, he says. “This is an opportunity to do things better.”
“Across New Zealand, what we are wanting to see is the sector growing from roughly 5,000 homes now to say 60,000 homes – to bring it to a similar size to Housing New Zealand, but with a whole range of tenure choices, and fit for purpose homes. That would almost double the amount of social and affordable housing across NZ, and ensure it is of high quality. This approach in Tamaki is one of the ways to get there.”
He says, in order to achieve that the Government needs to partner with, and invest in, the community housing sector.
“CHA is hoping today’s announcement is a step in that direction.”