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01 Jul 2017

Haumaru Housing celebrates start of services

1 July 2017 marked the start of services provided by Haumaru Housing, the limited partnership between New Zealand charitable trust, The Selwyn Foundation, and Auckland Council, which has taken over operations of the council’s Housing for Older People portfolio.

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% shareholder, The Selwyn Foundation has three directors on the Haumaru Housing Board – Selwyn Board members, Helen Melrose and Vicki Sykes, and Selwyn CEO, Garry Smith.  Matthew Harker and Kerry Hitchcock were appointed by Auckland Council following an external selection process.  Helen Melrose is the Board Chair.

Gabrielle Clezy is the partnership’s General Manager. Ms Clezy is former Chief Executive of aged residential care service provider, TerraNova, 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 Limited Partnership’ has been registered as the name of the limited partnership, and the General Partner has been registered as ‘Haumaru Auckland Limited Partnership’.

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.

“Through Haumaru Housing, we are very much looking forward 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) has been granted Community Housing Provider registration, which will enable it to access the Government’s Income Related Rent Subsidies scheme, thereby providing valuable funding to help further improve the services for tenants.

Notes to editors:

* 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.

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.