Accessible Properties preferred provider for Tauranga’s social housing
Tauranga and Bay of Plenty MPs are welcoming news that the preferred bidder for the potential transfer of 1,124 Housing NZ properties in Tauranga has been selected from a short-list of community housing providers.
Tauranga MP Simon Bridges and Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller today acknowledged IHC subsidiary, Accessible Properties, after it was chosen as the preferred bidder to potentially take over the ownership and management of social housing in Tauranga.
“This is a real positive for Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty,” Mr Bridges said.
“Over time, the Government wants social housing services to become better linked with other support tenants may need, such as budgeting or mental health services. This will be of real benefit in terms of offering additional support for those with social housing and other needs in Tauranga and the wider area.”
Accessible Properties, which has been managing housing for vulnerable people for more than 60 years, has been invited to start final talks to purchase the properties and to take over the management of their tenancies from Housing NZ. If the final negotiations are successful then Accessible Properties could become the landlord and tenancy manager in the first half of next year.
“A prime objective of the Government’s Social Housing Reform Programme is to encourage and develop more diverse ownership of social housing, resulting in more innovation and responsiveness to the specific needs of tenants and communities,” Mr Bridges said.
“The Government is committed to helping strengthen the community housing sector to be successful in ways that are better for tenants. Transferring properties to specialist community housing providers facilitates this process.”
Mr Muller said any properties transferred were required to remain in use as social houses and could not be sold unless Government specifically agreed otherwise.
“The Government would only give that approval if a particular house is no longer needed, or it is to be redeveloped to better match local current and future social housing needs, Mr Muller said.
Mr Bridges and Mr Muller want to reassure tenants that they will continue to be housed for the duration of their need and enjoy at least the same terms and conditions of tenancy under specialist housing providers as they currently experience with Housing NZ.
“I strongly believe this transfer will be successful in delivering the housing and the associated services we need in our community,” Mr Muller said.
“This is a group of New Zealanders who need and deserve the highest quality care possible. Their needs are diverse and I am confident Accessible Properties, if it is successful in becoming the new landlord for the Tauranga properties, would provide a superb job in this regard,” Mr Muller said.
Anita Moran 022 189 5450
Shannon Stewart 04 817 9431