The Government's $5000 offer to flee Auckland grant is off to a slow start with just 12 families taking it up after the first month - one of which was homeless. In total, $54,508 has been paid out, covering things like moving costs, bond, rent in advance and letting fees for the dozen families - collectively consisting of 32 people. Assistance has been approved for a further 10 applicants pending confirmed moving dates and verification of costs - that'll move 20 more out of Auckland. Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett says the numbers might be small, but they are "real people". "One successful applicant has happily made the move to Invercargill. She had been living with her sister but was asked to leave and ended up in her car. While talking with Housing New Zealand about support in Auckland, it was identified that she had extended family support in Southland and she asked for help to move to Invercargill. She accepted the offer of a two-bedroom home there." Other locations applicants have moved to include Rotorua, Brookfield, Tokoroa, and Tawa. Of the 12 who have taken up the offer, six are moving to private accommodation, with the other half moving to social housing. Six were existing social housing tenants, and six have been on the social housing register waiting for a home. One applicant was homeless and four were in emergency housing. "Although it is still early days, I am pleased to see people are taking up the offer of help," Ms Bennett says. The grant has been available for a month now The Government put $750,000 aside to make the grant available to 150 families. The policy was announced in a mad rush by Ms Bennett the day before the Budget after weeks of pressure built about families living in cars and garages. The grant can be used for moving costs, bonds, letting fees and other expenses. It can be used to move into a social house or a private rental. The grant amount depends on factors such as the distance moved, household size and what belongings need to be moved. The grants do not have to be paid back and will be available to people in social housing, on the social housing waitlist or eligible for social housing. Newshub.
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