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Divestment of elder housing portfolio

Council has reaffirmed its decision to sell its portfolio of retirement villages to one or more community housing providers to ensure long-term sustainability of the activity and provide the opportunity for portfolio redevelopment and growth to meet both current and future elder housing demand.

We are selling 246 homes, and looking to achieve improved community outcomes via the sale. This is not a standard sale process and will take time to complete.

The sale of the elder housing villages will therefore not be completed in 2019.

We have been busy gathering lots of information as we consider the different sale approaches, while working towards ensuring we get the best possible result for the tenants.

Once this work is completed, a report will go to Council in early 2020 with the different sale options. Council will provide feedback on their preferred option/s and this will inform how we engage with potential buyers.

Sale of elder housing villages update – November 2018 (158kb pdf)
Sale of elder housing villages update – April 2019 (158kb pdf)
Sale of elder housing villages update – June 2019 (79kb pdf)

Objective of divestment

Through the sale of the villages we want to achieve a number of important outcomes – like security of tenure and keeping rents affordable for tenants. In addition, we are considering how we can ensure additional units are built and that all units are to a higher standard.

Divesting would ensure long-term sustainability of the activity, and provide the opportunity for portfolio redevelopment and growth to meet both current and future elder housing demand.

Background – review of elder housing portfolio

In 2017, Council carried out a review of its elder housing portfolio, operations and future service delivery. The review comprised three elements – an independent report by the New Zealand Housing Foundation, tenant engagement through the establishment of a tenant advisory group, and wider stakeholder engagement through the establishment of a working group.

The initial findings were presented to the Community and Culture Committee meeting on 8 August 2017. The committee agreed that council should progress with its investigation into how best to provide elder housing services in Tauranga with a more in-depth investigation into two options:

  1. Council retains ownership of the elder housing portfolio and partners with a community housing provider
  2. Council divests the current elder housing portfolio to a community housing provider

New Zealand Housing Foundation report (1.2mb pdf)

The findings from the in-depth investigation were presented to the Community and Culture Committee meeting on 14 November 2017. The committee agreed to seek community feedback on whether council should divest its elder housing portfolio to one or more registered community housing providers, through the 2018-28 Long Term Plan.

Option analysis report (389kb pdf) Business case proposal (473kb pdf)

Objective of review

One of Council’s key priorities is to provide a higher standard of living for all residents and ensure that our city’s elder housing tenants are receiving the best possible service to meet their needs, now and in the future. Tenant welfare has been the primary consideration, with an agreed outcome that tenants are no worse off than before, with access to better well-being services in association with the provision of affordable housing.

Long Term Plan 2018-28

A total of 2050 submissions were received on the elder housing topic during the Long Term Plan community consultation process. 

758 (37%) were in support of option 1 (retaining the status quo)
843 (41%) were in support of option 2 (to divest to an approved community housing provider)
449 (22%) selected neither option 

The mayor and councillors emphasised the welfare of elderly tenants was the number one consideration in the decision to divest. The welfare of current tenants will be protected through the use of covenants to ensure tenure, rent stability and retention of numbers of units. 

Any money raised from the sales of the nine villages – 246 units – will be set aside in a reserve for elder or social housing-related use.

What is a community housing provider?

Community housing providers are community based, not-for-profit organisations focused solely on meeting the needs of a wide range of low and moderate income groups. They are better placed to provide all tenants with access to wraparound services and new tenants with access to income related rent subsidies (IRRS). Any profits are reinvested back into providing services and housing, with the goal of delivering long-term housing affordability.

If you would like further information, please contact Fiona Nalder or Karen Healey on 07 577 7000.

Last Reviewed: 14/08/2019


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