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Action Plan for boarding houses

Hon Maryan Street
Minister for Housing

10 April, 2008
Media Statement
Action Plan for vulnerable families in South Auckland boarding houses

Government agencies today committed to the development of a 90-Day Action Plan to tackle the housing needs of families living in sub-standard boarding houses in South Auckland, says Housing Minister Maryan Street.

"This Action Plan was developed after a multi-agency meeting I convened in Auckland today. Community organisations working with vulnerable families in South Auckland will be consulted on the Action Plan, it will be finalised and then implemented urgently,"

The 90 Day Action Plan will include:

- An assessment of tenants living in all boarding houses in South Auckland and the development of an enhanced process to remove at-risk families

- The development of an improved inter-agency alert system to ensure the exchange of information between government and non-government agencies to identify vulnerable families in inappropriate accommodation, and ensure the full complement of social services, including housing, is delivered to them.

- Develop a set of national standards around referral practices by government and non-government agencies to ensure vulnerable families are only referred to appropriate accommodation providers.

- The Manukau City Council has agreed to establish a register of boarding houses in South Auckland to ensure compliance with existing health and building standards.

- Progress amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act to give boarding house tenants greater protection and to impose similar obligations on boarding house landlords to those placed on most other private sector landlords. This requires sufficient support in parliament.

"Increased pressure in the wider housing market is resulting in rent increases which is making it harder for vulnerable families to access private accommodation in some areas," said Maryan Street.

"The government’s House Prices Unit work released earlier this year identified this problem, as has other recent research, and the government has a number of longer-term initiatives underway to address this issue. This includes a comprehensive plan to build more affordable houses for both home owners and renters."

The 90 Day Plan of Action developed after today’s constructive meeting will complement the government’s broader, longer-term housing programme, which last year saw more than 140 state homes built in South Auckland. A further 250 are planned in the next two years."

The Minister of Social Development and myself last year initiated a review of emergency housing and we are expecting advice on this by the end of the month.

"I am confident that the 90-Day Action Plan is another step forward in addressing the issues of housing stress.


ENDS

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