There is a big need for more community housing in our country – in our first article here we talked about what Community Housing Providers (CHPs) are.  In this article we will talk about how you can register to become a CHP.

How do I become a Community Housing Provider?

Anyone can be a CHP, but the Public and Community Housing Management (Community Housing Provider) Regulations 2014 (the Regulations) sets out the criteria that must be met to become a registered CHP. An entity must first meet the eligibility criteria, which requires an entity to meet the CHP definition mentioned above, its governing body supports the application for the entity becoming registered.

After having reviewed the performance standards, if the Community Housing Regulatory Authority (CHRA) is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the entity has the capacity to meet the performance standards it may be registered.[1] However, an entity cannot be eligible for registration if they are a council-controlled organisation, a local authority, or are subsidiary of these organisations unless they operate at an arm’s length away from them.[2]

The performance standards set out in the Regulations and by the CHRA are relevant for the eligibility criteria.[3] These standards for registration are put in place to ensure that the CHP does have the capacity to become a registered CHP, as well as to ensure the CHP can continue to comply with these standards once registered. The performance standards focus on five key principles, which are:

  • Governance
  • Management
  • Financial viability
  • Tenancy management
  • Property and asset management.

One we often provide assistance with is the governance aspect of the performance standards. This is to ensure your entity is governed in the appropriate manner with the correct systems and processes in place.

For more information on the performance standards, please have a look at the CHRA document on the performance standards: https://chra.hud.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/performance-standards-guidelines.pdf

If an entity meets the eligibility criteria, it can then meet with the CHRA and discuss particular matters such as the entity’s circumstances, and it provides a chance for the CHRA to discuss the expectations of a CHP, the entity’s suitability for registration, and any other information they may require. Following the meeting, an entity must complete an application form. This includes providing mandatory supporting information and evidence which demonstrates the entity’s capability to meet the processes and policies required of a CHP as set out in the performance standards.

An application for registration will be reviewed by the CHRA, who aim to make a decision within 60 working days of having received it (provided the application was fully complete). The CHRA will focus on whether the tenants will be housed appropriately, as well as reviewing whether the five performance standards are met by the entity. Throughout the review, the CHRA consider the principles of proportionality, transparency, fairness, and consistency.

If an entity is successful in their application, the CHRA will still provide feedback as to what can be improved to further meet the performance standards. The entity will then be added to the Public Register on the CHRA website and published in the New Zealand Gazette. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will also be notified that your entity is now registered, meaning the entity and HUD can then proceed to provide community housing to those in need.

We help many community housing providers and could help you as well – check out our information at our information hub here.

 

This article is general in nature and is not a substitute for legal advice. You should talk to a lawyer about your specific situation. Reproduction is permitted with prior approval and credit being given back to the source. 

If you would like to discuss further, please contact one of our team on stevenmoe@parryfield.com, judithbullin@parryfield.com or paulowens@parryfield.com at Parry Field Lawyers.

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[1] The Public and Community Housing Management (Community Housing Provider) Regulations 2014 s 5(a), (c), (d).

[2] The Public and Community Housing Management (Community Housing Provider) Regulations 2014 s 5(b).

[3] The Public and Community Housing Management (Community Housing Provider) Regulations 2014 s 5(d).