Housing Minister sets up housing crisis ministry

Housing Minister Phil Twyford.
Housing Minister Phil Twyford. Photo credit: AM Show

A new ministry focused on addressing the housing crisis is set to open in October, to advise the government on affordable housing and homelessness.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development will be established on August 1 and begin operating on October 1.

It will provide the Government with advice including addressing homelessness, making housing warm, dry and safe, and supporting first home buyers.

Minister of Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford said the new ministry would "end the fragmented current approach caused by involving a number of agencies".

The ministry will have up to 200 staff. It will merge responsibilities from existing ministries and the Treasury, and will use funding from existing operational budgets in these areas:

It will take over the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's housing and urban policy functions, the KiwiBuild Unit and the Community Housing Regulatory Authority.

It will monitor Housing New Zealand (HNZ) and the Tāmaki Redevelopment Company (TRC) instead of Treasury.

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD)'s policy for emergency, transitional and public housing will also be moved to the new ministry.

The annual operational budget for the Ministry will be finalised in July. 

There will be no changes for people who are seeking housing support, MSD will still be managing the public housing register and assessing their needs.

"The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development will help us deliver our bold and ambitious plan to build much-needed affordable housing, and create modern and liveable cities ready for the future," Mr Twyford said.

"Too many New Zealanders are hurting because of their housing situation. Many are locked out of the Kiwi dream of home ownership. Others are homeless or suffering the health effects of poor-quality housing."