Update on NZCID Social Housing initiatives

Press Release – NZCID

In May this year, NZCID led a delegation to Australia, to look at models of social housing delivery involving private sector financing, asset management and community development. The delegation included NZCID members with an interest in social housing, …Update on NZCID Social Housing initiatives
Update on NZCID Social Housing initiatives Delegation to Australia

In May this year, NZCID led a delegation to Australia, to look at models of social housing delivery involving private sector financing, asset management and community development. The delegation included NZCID members with an interest in social housing, central and local government officials, iwi and community housing association members. Based on learnings from the Australian experience, NZCID identified the following critical success factors necessary to promote the long term economic and social sustainability of social housing projects:

– Development of adequate scale to generate commercial returns

– Ensure the value of the developer’s investment is tied to achieving a positive social outcome and whole of life asset management

– Partnership with the Council around improved surrounding urban design

The full report with learnings from the tour has now been completed and is attached for your information. It may also be found on the NZCID website – www.nzcid.org.nz. Thank you to all those who participated in the tour, and contributed to the report in its various stages. We trust you find the document of value.

NZCID Options for Improving Social Housing in NZ

Potential for Business Case Development in the NZ context

Subsequent to the tour to Australia, a number of members indicated interest in NZCID co-ordinating some co-funded research to investigate the commercial imperatives required to make this work in New Zealand. While enthusiastic support for the research proposal was received from some NZCID members and stakeholder groups, particularly the social housing community associations, there was insufficient financial commitment to enable the work to proceed.

Simultaneous to this proposal, Housing New Zealand Corporation released a tender for a pilot project in Glen Innes for the redevelopment of 156 existing state houses into 260 new dwellings including 78 state rentals, 39 community housing units and 143 private properties. From the feedback we received, it appeared that private sector market participants were more interested in responding to this direct investment opportunity rather than sponsoring further analysis. While this was understandable, one of the aspects of the HNZC initiative was its relative small scale nature, and that little emphasis had been placed on the importance of social support services, which have been key to the success of the social housing initiatives in Australia. NZCID remains interested in supporting research on the commercial potential for roll out of social and affordable housing schemes, at scale, in the NZ context but would need funding support from other interested parties before this can proceed.

Advocacy

In the absence of support for work to be done on these issues, NZCID has taken an advocacy position on opportunities to capitalise on private sector innovation in the delivery of social housing. We continue to emphasise the need for social and community development being an inherent compnent of redevelopment initiatives (as outlined in our media release 17 November 2011 www.nzcid.org.nz).

Hui

Supporting the advocacy and education programme, NZCID, in conjunction with the Committee for Auckland, Westpac and Iwi Leaders from Ngati Whatua and Ngai Tahu also hosted a Hui on 15 November on ‘Improving the Outcomes for Social and Affordable Housing’ (for speeches and presentations from the hui – www.nzcid.org.nz). This event was well supported by NZCID members. As part of this hui, we brought George Housakos from Urban Communities, Melbourne to New Zealand to share his knowledge on social uplift strategies and tenancy and asset management models in social housing.George also participated in a number of stakeholder meetings and briefings to Local and Central Government Officials while he was in New Zealand, making his stay particularly worthwhile.

In summary, we are encouraged by the positive changes taking place in the sector, and shall continue to act as a watchdog, advocating for further reform, especially in regard to promoting the potential for greater private sector / third sector involvement in the delivery of social and affordable housing schemes. Key to the successful outcome will be ensuring social uplift is prioritised in future social and affordable housing developments

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our members who have contributed to the intiatives mentionned above, and supported our advocacy work in the Social Housing area over the last year. From the feedback we have received, it would appear that our work is focussing the spotlight on an important issue; one that is so critical to get right for a growing number of New Zealanders.

ends

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