There are four groups interested in the purchase of state houses in Tauranga and Invercargill that have been asked by Government to submit proposals. The Government has announced the next stage of the social housing transfer process that includes three groups tendering for Tauranga housing and one for the Invercargill homes. Three of the four groups include New Zealand community housing and social services agencies and one consortia that includes an overseas-based housing organisation.
Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) has responded to this next step in the process, saying that three out of the four bidders shortlisted New Zealand community housing providers “are a safe pair of hands with a proven history in providing warm, safe, dry social and affordable housing”. CHA is critical of an expensive and time-consuming process for community housing providers and commercial partners, lacking defined outcomes for tenants and missing opportunities for wider community development.
The Government passed the legislation empowering it to make the sales possible only last month, against the opposition of Labour, Greens and NZ First. As lawyers Chapman Tripp point out, the empowering legislation includes “no requirement that the sale involve either a registered Community Housing Provider or a sitting tenant”.