21 December 2015Housing for older people
Council announces community housing partnership with The Selwyn Foundation
Auckland Council has today 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, and as such is a great partner for council.
“When addressing the future of older Aucklanders, 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.
“Our brief was to find a community housing partner that could work alongside council to secure long term social housing for our older people.
“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.
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 wellbeing as it is about housing. We are looking at innovative ways to expand our services, so we can help greater numbers of elderly who are isolated and struggling, and to create safe, thriving, age-friendly communities and thus eliminate the scourges of social isolation and loneliness.
“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.
This appointment follows a two stage contestable process where Panuku Development Auckland called for expressions of interest (EOI) and six parties lodged request for proposal (RFP) 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 council will be consulting 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