SocialHousingReformImageThe next phase of the social housing transfer process for HNZ houses in Tauranga and Invercargill beings on 31st August with a “market sounding” process. This involves organisations interested in the transfers outlining their level of interest and whether the Treasury’s proposed terns for the transactions would achieve the outcomes being sought.

After this phase, there are still three more steps to go through before any transactions could be completed, so it is likely to take some months before it becomes clear whether any transfers will actually take place.

It is important that any agencies interested in being part of further work ensure they are registered on the Government Electronic Tenders Service (GETS) before the 31st August. Find out more on the Treasury website.

The legislation giving the Government the power to sell HNZ houses in this way is before Parliament and submissions are sought by 1st October 2015. The legislation is criticised by opposition parties as giving Government powers that are too broad and that sidestep financial advice and legal accountability.

Meanwhile, it appears that community organisations interested in the transfer process may be more interested in leasing houses than owning them. With interest from overseas community housing organisations there is a huge amount of continuing uncertainty as the Government tries to create an artificial “social housing market”, a process the Finance Minister Bill English admits is “all new to everybody”.