Proposed Horowhenua housing transfer not to proceed
A proposal to transfer the ownership and management of Housing New Zealand (HNZ) properties in Horowhenua will not proceed at this time, the Minister Responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English says.
The Government has spent a number of months considering a proposal from Horowhenua District Council (HDC) to explore a joint transfer of council-owned flats and HNZ properties and tenancies to a community housing provider (CHP).
The council proposed to ‘package’ its 115 pensioner units in Foxton, Levin and Shannon with 249 HNZ properties.
“The Government agreed to explore the possibility of a joint transfer following the request from the Horowhenua District Council earlier this year. It was always going to be dependent on a number of factors, including market sounding and consultation with iwi.
“That iwi consultation has highlighted a number of complexities, particularly because the two iwi involved are yet to settle their Treaty of Waitangi claims with the Crown.
“Given the small scale of the transfer, and those complexities, we have decided not to package the HNZ properties with HDC. What the Council does now with its own properties though, is up to the Council.
“We want to see more social housing in the hands of organisations who are involved in their communities, and who can show us new and better ways of working with tenants and upgrading houses.
“The Government’s Social Housing Reform Programme has always been about improving the lives of our tenants, and in this case, a transfer was going to throw up too much uncertainty for many of those involved.”
Minister English says he understands HDC will proceed with its own transfer process in the New Year.
“I’d encourage those community housing providers that have shown an interest in the HNZ portfolio to consider participating in the Council’s transfer.”
Further details about the Social Housing Reform Programme are available at www.socialhousing.govt.nz