31 March 2017
From tonight Accessible Properties will take over the ownership and management of more than 1100 homes from Housing New Zealand in the Tauranga area.
Accessible Properties, a subsidiary of IHC, is one of New Zealand’s largest non-government housing providers with a long history of providing good quality housing that prioritises people with disabilities, older people and those on low incomes. The organisation was chosen by the Government as the preferred community housing provider for the Housing New Zealand houses in Tauranga in August 2016.
The transfer of ownership of the properties takes place tomorrow Saturday 1 April, 2017.
Accessible Properties’ Chief Executive Greg Orchard says the Registered Community Housing Provider is committed to tenants and is determined to provide a great service.
“We are looking forward to meeting our tenants, to let them know more about us and most importantly to seek their views on what we can improve upon before we formalise any plans of our own. I will say that we are keen to make some changes,” says Greg.
“The properties have been assessed as being at a very good standard – we will maintain this and seek to make improvements. We are also committed to introducing some new safety features to homes.
“In addition to improvements and maintenance we also want to grow the number of homes we provide in Tauranga and to make sure they are the right size to meet the needs of current and future tenants. We plan to provide at least another 150 homes in the city.
“Our tenancy managers will act as community connectors for those who would like to access more social or community support services or iwi links,” says Accessible Properties General Manager Tauranga, Andrew Wilson.
“We have a Memorandum of Understanding with Tauranga Moana Iwi and have always worked with a range of agencies to help our tenants get any wider support that they need.”
The Tauranga Moana Iwi Entities partnership includes representation from 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. The MoU supporting the Accessible Properties bid was signed in June 2016.
Accessible Properties will ensure a smooth transfer for tenants, making sure each person has all the information they need. Tenants can expect a Welcome pack from Accessible Properties outlining everything they need to know about the transfer to arrive in their letterboxes from next week.
“I want to assure tenants that although their landlord will change, people can remain in their homes for as long as they are eligible and their rent will not change as a result of this transfer,” says Andrew.
“Because Accessible Properties is a Registered Community Housing Provider, tenants will still be eligible for the Government’s income-related rent or other benefits – as they are now.
“We have been providing housing for more than 60 years and in Tauranga for more than 50. We have led the way in achieving community integration with social housing. We have recently opened our new Tauranga office and from here we will bring to our Tauranga tenants the same high standard of service our current tenants enjoy,’ says Greg.
“We know what a difference good housing makes, and with the properties we already own we are proud to be able to make a difference.”
Accessible Properties is also a New Zealand-based registered charity. It already manages more than 1600 properties and from 1 April this number will increase to more than 2700.