Accessible Properties wins award for fresh approach to meth management

John O'Brien, Greg Orchard, Vicki McLaren, Amy Law and Suzanne Tana

Accessible Properties New Zealand has won an award for a collaborative approach to meth management in its Tauranga community housing.

APNZL won the Leading Asset Management category for ‘Tauranga Portfolio Asset Management in a Changing Political Environment’ in the New Zealand leg of the Australasian Housing Institute Awards. The AHI Awards presentation was held during the Shift Aotearoa Conference last week (6 June) in Wellington.

After taking over the properties from Housing New Zealand in April 2017, APNZL inspected and tested all the properties within the first year. This provided an understanding of the overall condition of the portfolio and the wellbeing of the tenants and formed the basis of a three-year maintenance programme.

Of the 1138 properties tested, 147 had contamination levels above the standard set at that time. Only three of the 147 tenancies were ended. While the remediation work was undertaken, tenants were either temporarily housed or transferred to a more suitable property.

The approach has delivered the following benefits:

  • It has encouraged open and honest relationships with tenants through our commitment to share methamphetamine test results, and gives tenants the opportunity to remedy any contamination damage.
  • New programme developed by local Iwi, Ngai Te Rangi, to support families impacted by methamphetamine and support by the Ministry of Social Development.
  • Technology has been identified to support tenants to maintain a safe, healthy home environment for themselves and their children.

“We placed our customers at the centre of our decision-making and collaborated with a wide-range of stakeholders to develop our policy,” says Accessible Properties General Manager in Tauranga, Vicki McLaren.

APNZL will now automatically be entered in the Australasian Awards. The overall award winners will be announced during the National Housing Conference in August in Darwin.

APNZL now provides 1142 warm, dry, safe homes to around 3500 people in Tauranga. We have 44 more homes under way in the region and plan to build another 125 homes beyond these. We also continually work to improve the quality of the housing we provide.

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