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Haumaru Housing to launch in July

Partnership delivers housing for older Aucklanders

Published: 10 April 2017
Haumaru Housing will take on management of the council's 1412 housing units for older Aucklanders

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Partnership delivers housing for older Aucklanders

The Housing for Older People limited partnership between charitable trust, The Selwyn Foundation, and Auckland Council has confirmed its appointments to the Board of its General Partner and has also announced its new name, as it prepares to take over operations of the council’s Housing for Older People portfolio on 1 July 2017.

The limited partnership was formed in December 2016 to undertake comprehensive tenancy and asset management services associated with the council’s stock of 1,452* rental units for senior citizens, which are located in villages across south, north and west Auckland. As a 51 per cent shareholder, The Selwyn Foundation has appointed three directors – Selwyn Board members, Helen Melrose and Vicki Sykes, and Selwyn CEO, Garry Smith. Matthew Harker and Kerry Hitchcock have been appointed by Auckland Council following an external selection process. Helen Melrose is the Board Chair.

The Board has appointed Gabrielle Clezy as the partnership’s General Manager. Ms Clezy has been Chief Executive of aged residential care service provider, TerraNova, since 2014 and has extensive leadership and operational experience in social services and aged care in both the UK and New Zealand. She has worked for not-for-profit organisations in the healthcare arena, such as Bupa Care Services and specialist addictions mental health trust, Odyssey House, and has also held senior roles in the UK tertiary education and national health sectors.

‘Haumaru Housing’ has been registered as the name of the limited partnership, and the General Partner has been registered as ‘Haumaru Auckland Limited’.

Board Chair, Helen Melrose, says: “Haumaru Housing aims to provide outstanding social housing for older Aucklanders and to create safe and secure age-friendly communities for our tenants. As ‘Haumaru’ means ‘shelter, to provide a caring and safe haven for everything’ – and has associated meanings of protection, security and refuge – we believe this encapsulates our vision and objectives for the partnership and the quality and respectful service that tenants can expect to receive.”

Chair of The Selwyn Foundation Trust Board, Kay Hawk, says: “The Selwyn Foundation has a long history of providing housing and accommodation for older people – since 1954, our mission has been to provide services for vulnerable elderly. Today, our charitable mission focusses more than ever on helping people into affordable rental homes, as well as alleviating the problems caused by loneliness, social isolation and financial hardship that equally affect the wellbeing of senior citizens and make them particularly vulnerable.

“We are very much looking forward to Haumaru Housing commencing services on 1 July and to applying our 60-plus years of experience and concern for the welfare of the older person, to the benefit of ever greater numbers of people. With our Auckland Council partners, we aim to provide a responsive, quality service and, in so doing, create environments where people will feel comfortable, content and secure in their homes, thereby enriching the lives of those who are most in need.”

Councillor Penny Hulse, Chair of Auckland Council’s Environment and Community Committee, says the initiative is all about improving both the quality of housing for Auckland’s older people and the associated services provided. She says: “The Selwyn Foundation is a New Zealand-owned and operated charitable organisation with many years of providing quality retirement accommodation and care and, as such, is a great partner for Auckland Council.

“When addressing the future of older Aucklanders, the council faces some tough choices. The reality is, we have ‘baby boomers’ nearing retirement age, an ageing housing stock requiring upgrading and is not necessarily evenly spread across Auckland, and a limited budget.

“We have made a promise to maintain the current number of homes and the current level of service and we are confident this relationship will help us increase that number and improve the quality of homes.

“Most importantly, it means our tenants' homes are secure.”

Haumaru Housing (pronounced Hoe-maa-ru) is expected to receive Community Housing Provider registration shortly, which will enable it to access the Government’s Income Related Rent Subsidies scheme over time, thereby providing valuable funding to help further improve the services for tenants.

* The total of 1,452 includes 1,412 existing units and 40 that are committed to being built in Wilsher Village in Henderson. Most units are in the south (686), followed by the north (458) and the west (308). Devonport-Takapuna has the largest concentration with 274 units.

The Selwyn Foundation is an independent New Zealand, Christian faith-based charitable trust providing services to older people and their families and has led the way in improving the quality of life of senior citizens for over sixty years. As pioneers of the retirement village model and of rest home care in New Zealand, it is uniquely experienced in providing residential care, independent retirement living and community day services for older people, and owns or manages a total of nine retirement villages across the upper North Island.

As a not-for-profit organisation, the Foundation reinvests any financial surpluses into the provision of additional facilities and charitable activities aimed at helping ageing people, with its charitable goals centred on alleviating the key problems of the lack of affordable housing, loneliness and social isolation and the effects of financial hardship. 

Housing for older Aucklanders to better meet their needs

The partnership arrangement for the Housing for Older People portfolio was part of a statutory consultation process for the amendment of Auckland Council’s 2015-2025 Long-term Plan. In December 2015, following a contestable process, The Selwyn Foundation was selected as the council’s preferred community housing partner for its portfolio of homes for older Aucklanders. It was proposed that Selwyn would partner with the council through a jointly owned company. Following a consultation process in June 2016, the council’s Governing Body approved the amendment (the partnership) in August 2016.

The main objective is to improve both the quality of housing for older people and the associated services provided to better meet their needs. Whilst Haumaru Housing will be responsible for managing the portfolio, the city’s urban development agency, Panuku Development Auckland, will lead the ongoing development, working with The Selwyn Foundation and the partnership and ensuring that the location and quality of the new homes address the needs of older people. A tenants’ reference group and a mana whenua advisory group have been set up to ensure the views of those living in the homes, including the needs of Maori, are incorporated in the development plans.

Haumaru Housing Board member biographies

Helen Melrose, Chair, has practised as a lawyer specialising in retirement villages and elder law for over 20 years. After her time as a partner at a major national law firm, she established her own law firm, from which she has now retired. Helen’s experience in this area has included four years as President of the Retirement Villages Association (an association of for-profit and not-for profit industry representatives). She has served as Chairperson of the National Council of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and has contributed to many other not-for-profit community organisations.

Vicki Sykes is currently a self-employed Director and Consultant and has previously spent time working in education and Anglican parish ministry. From 1998 to 2015, Vicki was the Chief Executive of Friendship House, an ecumenical community and social services agency, where she oversaw the recruitment, and supported the work, of a multicultural team of staff and Board members who were well placed to identify and connect with the vibrant and complex community of the Counties Manukau region. Her experience in governance, management, strategic planning, ministry and social services gives her a strong base from which to serve Haumaru Housing.

Garry Smith has over twenty years’ experience of the health sector, having held senior positions with healthcare organisations throughout New Zealand. Prior to his appointment as Chief Executive Officer of The Selwyn Foundation, he had been CEO of the country's largest health board, Auckland District Health Board, for nine years. A qualified accountant, Garry has expertise in management, planning, accounting and finance, as well as experience of the banking industry. Garry is passionate about providing ethical and values-based services for older people and ensuring that services are delivered with integrity, warmth and respect for the individual at all times.

Matthew Harker has extensive governance experience of large organisations delivering social housing, aged care and developing large-scale Public Private Partnership projects. Matthew has a background in corporate finance and M&A and has previously held senior roles at leading international investment banks, UBS, Rothschild and Societe Generale. As a Board Member of Tāmaki Regeneration Company, Hobsonville Land Company and Plunket, he has a sound knowledge of property, coupled with a deep commitment to community development and social housing.

Kerry Hitchcock has many years’ experience in property investment, development and financial disciplines as well as in governance. His expertise includes strategic planning, asset management, investment, and commercial and residential property development. A Board Member of Tāmaki Regeneration Company and Smales Farm Business & Technology Hub, his property experience includes development of a broad range of commercial, retail and residential properties and student accommodation in central Auckland.