Bay News column

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Last week Housing New Zealand Minister Bill English and Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett announced that Tauranga has been selected as one of the first two areas in the country for the proposed transfer of Housing New Zealand properties to registered Community Housing Providers (CHPs).

Tauranga has be chosen because of the level of interest from CHPs - eight have expressed they are keen to consider the proposal. This is part of the Government’s plan to make more social housing available to vulnerable New Zealanders, and continues our commitment to deliver better public services and get better value for the taxpayer’s money.

Tauranga has around 1,250 Housing New Zealand properties, and not all tenants may be getting the best possible care for their situation from the current arrangements.

No decisions have been made regarding the number of houses that may be transferred; this will be determined by the capability of the CHPs. No transfers will occur unless it can be shown tenants will be getting better service and the taxpayer receives fair and reasonable value.

This is a great opportunity for CHPs to integrate with other services they may offer, such as disability services or budgeting support. As Minister Bennett said, we know vulnerable people do better when services are delivered by local people for local people.