Three consortia short-listed to take over 2500 Christchurch Housing NZ properties

The government has been keen on selling Housing NZ properties and outsourcing the tenancies to private providers.

Three consortia consisting of community housing providers and private investors have been short-listed to buy 2,500 Housing New Zealand properties in Christchurch.

Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Housing NZ Minister Amy Adams today named the three preferred bidders to put forward formal proposals to take over the social housing properties and tenancies in the Christchurch suburbs of Shirley, Bryndwr and Riccarton. The short list was drawn up after the government sought expressions of interest in the project in April.

"Each demonstrated their capability for providing innovative and responsive services for tenants from a sound, sustainable financial base, while also delivering on the government's requirement to supply at least another 150 social housing places," Joyce said.

The three groups vying for the deal include Community Futures Christchurch, consisting of community housing provider Trust House, infrastructure manager Whitehelm Capital, and Australian infrastructure services firm Broadspectrum (New Zealand), Ōtautahi Community Housing Consortium made up of the community housing provider Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust and local investment bank HRL Morrison & Co, and a consortium of community housing provider Compass Housing Services, fund manager AMP Capital Investors, and investment bank Brookfield Financial Australia Securities.

The government has been keen on selling Housing NZ properties and outsourcing the tenancies to private providers, so it can recycle the capital elsewhere. The first sale last year in Invercargill was aborted when the sole bidder - Dunedin-based charity Pact Group - withdrew from the tender after deciding it wasn't the best way to achieve its goals.

A Tauranga tender for 1,124 dwellings was won by IHC New Zealand unit Accessible Properties in August with the backing of Tauranga Moana Iwi Entities, representing Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ranginui, Ngai Te Rangi Settlement Trust and Te Rūnanga o Ngai Te Rangi Iwi Trust and Ngāti Pukenga Iwi ki Tauranga Trust. They beat out Hapori Connect Tauranga, a consortium led by British social housing manager Pinnacle Group, and the Morrison & Co-led Kainga Community Housing Partners.

Adams today said the successful bidder for the Christchurch tender will have to keep using the properties for social housing and won't be allowed to sell them.

"Current tenants will remain in their homes. Neither their rent or rights will change as a result of the transfer, including their eligibility for social housing," she said.

Housing New Zealand will still own about 3,300 properties in Christchurch.

(BusinessDesk)

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