UK, Canadian and Australian interests bid for social housing in Tauranga and Invercargill
Four bidders are competing to take over the running of just under 1500 Housing New Zealand properties in Invercargill and Tauranga.
The majority of the homes, 1124, are in Tauranga. Two consortia are in the running to take over these properties. The first, Hapori Connect Tauranga, is a consortium made up of Pinnacle Community Housing, Canadian real estate management company Brookfields Global Integrated Solutions and the John Laing Infrastructure Fund, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Pinnacle Community Housing is a New Zealand company formed in November 2015 but whose ultimate owner is the UK's Pinnacle Group. The group's website says it manages approximately 30,000 homes in the UK where it is the largest private sector provider of government-owned social housing services.
The second bidder for the homes in Tauranga is Kainga Community Housing Partners. It's made up of Australasian infrastructure asset manager HRL Morrison & Co, Trust House Ltd, a community landlord that owns and manages 500 rental homes in the Wairarapa; Compass Housing Service, a not-for-profit housing provider in New South Wales and Queensland which manages more than 4000 properties; Programmed FM, a facilities management company which operates on both sides of the Tasman; and Nga Potiki a Tamapahore Trust and Tapuika Iwi Authority Trust.
There is much less private sector interest in the homes in Invercargill, perhaps reflecting the much smaller number of properties to be transferred. The support charity, Pact Group, is one of two bidders involved.
The government announced plans to boost the involvement of community housing groups in 2015 and this is the first planned transfer of stock from Housing New Zealand. Tenants' entitlement to social housing will be protected and the homes must be used for social housing unless the government approves otherwise.
Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett said the shortlist reflected a new way of thinking about social housing.
"We expect the community housing sector should work with financiers and asset managers to share expertise and figure out innovative new ways of providing housing for our most vulnerable," Bennett said. "Those on the shortlist have been thinking creatively and seriously about how to do this."
The government has asked for fully costed and comprehensive proposals for Invercargill by May 30 and June 7 for Tauranga. The preferred bidder for each region is due to be announced at some point between June and September.