Housing claims and counter claims

  • 11/09/2016
Labour leader Andrew Little
Labour leader Andrew Little

The Government is making progress in providing housing for those who need it and will continue to do so, the minister in charge, Paula Bennett, says

She came out hitting after Labour leader Andrew Little said families living in cars looking for homes in the three months to June waited an average of 217 days to be put into social housing.

That compared to 129 days in the March quarter and 108 in the three months to December.

The statistics from the Ministry of Social Development also showed the number of people registered as living in public places and tents looking for social homes had risen from 31 in September 2015 to 75 by June this year, Mr Little said.

Mrs Bennett says there are 3185 community housing places funded from rent subsidies throughout New Zealand and Housing New Zealand will have another 3000 houses in Auckland during the next three years.

Also, an applicant's circumstances may have changed significantly from the time their application was placed on the social housing register to the time they received an offer of housing.

"There is absolutely no need for people to remain living in insecure housing. If they go to Work and Income, options will be discussed with them and if there are no emergency housing beds available they can be offered a non-recoverable grant to pay for accommodation," she said.

Every week Housing New Zealand has on average 15 new places and is scaling up and seeing an average of 150 people housed each week.

Almost 14 percent, or about 150, of the 1100 or so offers made each month are withdrawn due to HNZ not being able to contact the applicant after repeated attempts, she said.

Fewer than two percent of HNZ properties are vacant at any one time so it is crucial people seriously consider the properties offered to them, she said.

Mr Little said it's disgraceful that the Government knows families are living in cars or tents and is either taking too long to house them or is not housing them at all.