Most Read Contributor in New Zealand, September 2016
The first sales under the social housing programme are
unlikely to be concluded until late this year, according to the
timeline the Government is using in its public
We catch you up with the latest
Finance Minister Bill English and Social Housing Minister Paula
Bennett have begun a series of public consultation meetings to
activate the planned sale this year of between 1,000 and 2,000
Housing New Zealand properties to registered Community Housing
Late March/early April
Select first properties for
The Ministry of Social
Development announces where the first tranche of new Income Related
Rent Subsidies (IRRS) will be expended
Regional consultation on
Market soundings to test regional
Expressions of Interest
Late 2015/early 2016
Request for Proposals
Cabinet to review progress and
decide whether to extend sales programme
The sales are open to CHPs and consortia including CHPs. Finance
Minister Bill English was clear at the public meeting which Chapman
Tripp attended that the Government will honour its obligations to
iwi under any rights of first refusal.
Transaction sizes will range from as few as five properties to
as many as 600. They will be conducted through competitive
Successful buyers will be able to redevelop the properties, but
must not reduce the social housing supply.
Any social or affordable rental housing provider can apply for
registration as a CHP. An evaluation panel will assess applicants
for eligibility, suitability and risk. Registered CHPs (currently
there are 37) will be eligible for the Income Related Rent Subsidy
Housing New Zealand owns 65,000 houses and leases another 3,000.
3,000 have tenants paying market rent (these tenants are likely
to be moved off Housing New Zealand's books through the tenancy
review programme, making the houses available for re-letting)
2,300 are vacant (of which 70% are unfit for use)
the main configuration problems are an under-supply of one
bedroom houses and an over-supply of three bedroom houses, and
the main location problems are an under-supply in Auckland and
an oversupply in the provinces.
CHPs own 5,000 houses (tenants in 131 of which receive IRRS).
The Government will increase IRRS numbers by 3,000 (to 65,000) by
Chapman Tripp comments
The Government's commitment to full information disclosure
should assist in showing how the different moving parts in the
social housing policy will mesh together. But, at least at this
stage, significant questions remain regarding how quickly the
fledgling CHP sector will develop and whether it will have the
financial capability to deliver on the Government's policy
So far the message from potential CHPs has been blunt –
the Government is going to have to chip in significant support in
addition to the IRRS (either through capital grants or through
discounted prices or through
gifting the properties), if the plan is to be feasible.
The information in this article is for informative purposes
only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Please contact
Chapman Tripp for advice tailored to your situation.
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