1 May 2015

Company gives assurances on Auckland state houses

1:55 pm on 1 May 2015

The development company taking over 2800 state houses in Auckland will work closely with Housing New Zealand in managing the properties, its chief executive says.

Ownership and management of the houses in Glen Innes, Pt England and Panmure is being transferred to the Tāmaki Redevelopment Company, which is jointly owned by Auckland Council and the government.

Company chief executive John Holyoake told Morning Report that despite not having been a landlord, the company had done a lot of planning.

"We've got people that are really good at working with community, people who understand development and people who understand regeneration.

"The other option of course that we've got and will be taking up is to work closely with the people from Housing New Zealand who are very capable and have been working in this community for quite a long time."

About 8000 people live in the properties and Mr Holyoake said tenants would remain in their homes and rents would stay the same.

Labour's housing spokesman Phil Twyford described the plan as "utterly reckless."

But Community Housing Aotearoa's director Scott Figenshow said there was nothing in the plan that indicated a shift in the Government's commitment to the funding of social housing.

He said it was simply a change in who operated it.

The Cabinet has approved a $200 million loan facility for the company to speed up the regeneration work at Tāmaki.

The loan facility is to be made available ahead of the transfer of the homes in order to allow the company to progress its own development and planning.