More than 10,000 Kiwi households on public housing waiting list

In the biggest increase in state and community-provided housing in a decade, an extra 1658 public housing places have been made available in the past year.

But it comes as the public housing waiting list increases to more than 10,000 households - an increase of 73 percent or 4530 households over the same time a year earlier.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford says while progress is being made on building more homes, demand for housing continues to increase.

"The hidden homeless that we warned about at the beginning of last year are continuing to come forward with the Housing Register increasing to 10,712 in the last quarter," Mr Twyford says.

"It's going to take a concerted effort over many years to end homelessness. The housing crisis was created over a decade and isn't going to be fixed overnight. We are committed to 6,400 new places over the next four years."

Mr Twyford says the latest figures from the December 2018 Public Housing Quarterly Report, released Monday, shows the Government is "pulling out all the stops to house those in need".

"Each new state house and community provided home means one less family living in unacceptable circumstances, such as cars, garages and under bridges," he says.

"Our Government has been clear that the best way to tackle the housing crisis is to build more houses, and the best way to tackle homelessness is to build more public housing -that's exactly what we are doing."

The Government has built 1191 new state houses since taking power, and increased the number of transitional housing places by 768. It has also expanded Housing First from Auckland to Tauranga, Hamilton and Christchurch in 2018.

"Housing First is an internationally recognised approach to supporting homeless people into housing," Mr Twyford says.

"So far, the programme has helped 521 rough-sleepers in New Zealand find a permanent home."

The Green Party says it shows the current support system is broken.

"More and more of our people are unable to put a roof over their head, showing we urgently need more state and public housing," Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson said on Monday.

"We are seeing the direct consequences of successive Governments not putting the wellbeing of New Zealanders first. The Greens are working hard to fix this up."

And at the same time, the Ministry of Social Development has resumed public housing tenancy reviews, which were paused during 2018.

The reviews focus on those tenants more likely to be ready to be moved to other housing.

"If we can help tenants who are more likely to be able to move with the right support, we can free up public housing places for those in greater need on the Housing Register," Mr Twyford says.