Re: TCC Commission Chair Anne Tolley’s response to W Sedcole’s letter ‘Villages sell-off just outrageous’ (The Weekend Sun’, June 3).
Commissioner Tolley’s response to W Sedcole’s letter arguing ‘Villages sell-off just outrageous’ raises some additional questions and comments.
Kainga Ora is not the only providers of social housing in Tauranga. The largest single provider is Accessible Properties, which acquired the former HNZ Tauranga portfolio in 2017, a portfolio of 1138 properties (now 1183) which they have added to over time.
My question is why was Kainga Ora the only party offered the rights to purchase the TCC portfolio? Surely a competitive bidding process would have been more robust and transparent? There exist multiple community housing providers in Tauranga – and, unlike TCC, they receive market rents while tenants only pay income-related rents. It is highly probable that some existing TCC tenants would pay lower rentals to a community housing provider than they do to TCC.
The point here is that financial modelling should not be determined upon rentals currently received by TCC but on market rentals. Accessible Properties acquisition required them to not only maintain the number of social housing units acquired but to increase the number over time. To do this they have undertaken infill developments and used vacancies to redevelop sites such as on Cameron Rd, where two units were removed and six new units built. Over what time period has Kainga Ora undertaken to increase the social hosing supply in Tauranga? Their track record in new developments is not great. It is accepted that if conditions are to be placed upon the sale of TCC portfolio then an unrestricted market value might not be achievable – but what exactly were the conditions and why wasn’t the market determined through a competitive bidding process?
Graeme Horsley, Mount Maunganui.
TCC General Manager: Strategy and Growth, Christine Jones, responds:
Before entering formal, non-binding negotiations with Kāinga Ora, Council engaged with a number of interested parties, including registered community housing providers. Feedback from these parties and Kāinga Ora was that they would prefer not to enter into a competitive process against each other. After considering the primary objectives of the sale, including ongoing affordable housing for existing tenants and ensuring an increase in public housing for the city, the Council decided to negotiate with Kāinga Ora.