Auckland Council on 21 December announced The Selwyn Foundation as the new community housing partner for its portfolio of homes for older Aucklanders.
Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse says The Selwyn Foundation is a New Zealand-owned and operated charitable organisation with a long history of providing quality retirement accommodation and care around the country. As such, it is a great partner for the council.
“When addressing the future of older Aucklanders, the council was faced with making an important decision. The reality is, we have ‘baby boomers’ nearing retirement age, an ageing housing stock that requires upgrading, and is not necessarily evenly spread around the region, and a limited budget.”
“We have made a promise to maintain the current number of homes and the current level of service.
"However, we hope that this relationship will help us grow that number and improve the quality of homes over time. And, most importantly, it means our tenants' homes are secure,” she says.
Putting people and well-being first
The Selwyn Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Garry Smith, says: “This wonderful opportunity takes us to the core of our charitable foundation.
“Since 1954, Selwyn’s mission has always been to provide services for vulnerable elderly people. As a community housing partner, this is as much about people and their well-being as it is about housing.
“Today’s most challenging issues for older people are a lack of social housing, loneliness and general hardship, all of which can have a very negative effect on people’s health and make them particularly vulnerable.
“This opportunity allows us to ensure the future of affordable housing and better lives for those who are in need,” he says.
Selwyn Foundation top among strong contenders
This appointment follows a two-stage contestable process where Panuku Development Auckland called for expressions of interest and six parties lodged requests for proposal documents. Submitters were assessed against seven criteria over the two stages.
Panuku Development Auckland Director Strategy and Engagement, David Rankin, says The Selwyn Foundation ranked highly amid the strong group of potential partners.
“As well as coming out on top in our assessment against pre-set criteria, The Selwyn Foundation proposed a straightforward and workable approach to partnering with council through a jointly owned company that will manage the portfolio and provide a platform for further development investment.
“This joint approach also enables access over time to the government’s Income Related Rent Subsidies scheme which is available to registered social housing providers and helps reduce the cost to ratepayers,” he says.
In early 2016, the council will consult on the proposal to change to a partnership model for delivering housing for older persons (not its community housing partner) as a special consultative procedure.