Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Housing New Zealand suspends 75 former tenants

Housing New Zealand suspends 75 former tenants

Housing New Zealand has suspended 75 former tenants from applying for a state house since the introduction of its suspensions policy a year ago, Housing Minister Phil Heatley said today.

The policy, introduced on 30 November 2011, allows Housing New Zealand to suspend former tenants from applying for a state house for one year after their tenancy ends, as a result of serious breaches of their tenancy agreement.

“The policy applies only to the most serious breaches – such as unlawful or anti-social behaviour, fraud or significant vandalism, not one-off incidents like breaking a window, or missing a rent payment,” Mr Heatley said.

“Neighbours are sick of some of the behaviour that they have had to put up with and we know that a strong line on this is very welcome in our communities.

“Housing New Zealand is the country’s largest landlord. It has a responsibility to ensure its tenants are safe and secure in the neighbourhoods they’re in. That also means tenants have an obligation to behave responsibly and respectfully.

“The suspensions policy allows Housing New Zealand to protect its tenants and staff from unlawful or anti-social behaviour.”

Of the 75 people suspended, 64 were for fraud, four were for anti-social behaviour and seven were for unlawful activity.

Background

Tenants may be suspended if they:

· lie about their circumstances to get or keep a state house or rent subsidy

· intimidate or harm other people

· sublet their state house to other people

· repeatedly refuse or fail to pay their rent

· run up large debt (such as for damages to the house)

· substantially damage a state house

· use a state house as a base for criminal activities.

Under the policy, visitors to state houses can also be suspended from applying for a state house for a year, if they were responsible for the serious tenancy breach.

The suspensions policy is linked to the Encouraging Good Neighbour Behaviour policy, which encourages the tenants to be good neighbours.

The suspensions process

Housing New Zealand follows a fair and transparent process when considering suspending a tenant’s eligibility for state housing. Housing New Zealand must take into consideration the needs of any dependent children and works closely with other agencies including Child Youth and Family, where a suspension decision may affect dependants.

People being considered for suspension are given the opportunity to put their side of the story to Housing New Zealand. They also have the right to apply for an internal review of the decision to suspend them.

Those suspended may apply to have the suspension from eligibility waived if they can prove housing-related hardship. To support their waiver application, they are encouraged to demonstrate a commitment to change their behaviours or circumstances that led to the suspension. A commitment to co-operate will help determine whether or not they can sustain a new tenancy with Housing New Zealand.

They can also request a review of the waiver decision and make an appeal to the State Housing Appeals Authority if they apply for a waiver of their suspension and this is declined. This appeal will be based on the grounds for declining the waiver.

Numbers of suspensions by region with reasons

Region

Number of suspensions since November 2011

Reason for suspension

Examples

Whangarei and Far North

2

Fraud

Sub-letting a state house

Auckland

51

Fraud, anti-social behaviour and illegal activity

Sub-letting a state house; providing false information during needs assessments; undeclared partner; illegal activity including supply of drugs and possession of an unregistered sawn-off shotgun; anti-social behaviour including assault on neighbours

Hamilton/Waikato

5

Fraud

Sub-letting a state house

East Cape

1

Fraud

Undeclared partner

Hawke’s Bay

2

Fraud

Undeclared income; undeclared partner and their income

Whanganui

2

Fraud

Undeclared partner

Wellington

7

Fraud

Sub-letting a state house; undeclared partner

Christchurch

5

Fraud

Undeclared income, undeclared partner and sub-letting a state house


ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Parliament Kicks Off: Carter Re-Elected Speaker

The 51st Parliament held its commission opening today with MPs sworn in and David Carter elected Speaker.

The day began at 11am with the three Royal Commissioners – the Chief Justice, the Court of Appeal President, and the Chief High Court Judge – declaring the new Parliament open.

After the Commissioners left the Chamber the swearing in of MPs took place in alphabetical order. Unlike some previous openings all MPs managed to swear on the bible or affirm their oath without any hiccups... More>>

 

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:


Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

TPP Leak: Intellectual Property Text Confirms Risk - Jane Kelsey

The US is continuing its assault on generic medicines through numerous proposed changes to patent laws. ‘These are bound to impact on Pharmac if they are accepted’, according to Professor Kelsey... Copyright is another area of ongoing sensitivity... More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith Plans Reform To Ease Urban Development

Newly appointed Environment Minister Nick Smith has announced Resource Management Act reform to foster urban development, where high land prices and expensive resource consents are blocking efforts to provide affordable housing. More>>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On New Zealand getting involved (again) in other people's wars

Apparently, the Key government is still pondering how New Zealand will contribute to the fight against Islamic State. Long may it ponder, given the lack of consensus among our allies as to how to fight IS, where to fight it (Syria, Iraq, or both?) and with whose ground troops, pray tell? More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On child poverty, and David Shearer’s latest outburst

The politicisation of (a) the public service and (b) the operations of the Official Information Act have been highlighted by the policy advice package on child poverty that RNZ’s resolute political editor Brent Edwards has finally prised out of the Ministry of Social Development. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On the government’s review of security laws

So the Key government is about to launch a four week review of the ability of our existing legislation to deal with “suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters, and other violent extremists.”

According to its terms of reference, the review will consider whether the SIS, GCSB and Police are sufficiently able right now to (a) investigate and monitor suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters… More>>

ALSO:

Labour Davids: Lisa Owen Interviews David Shearer

David Shearer still mulling whether to stand for Labour leadership but says his family doesn’t think it’s a good idea. Declares that it will be “incredibly divisive” for the Labour caucus if David Cunliffe returns to the role of leader. More>>

ALSO:

Taser Use & False Evidence: Timaru Officers "Failed To Follow Good Policing Practice"

The Authority found that even if Mr Reuben’s contact with the officer was deliberate it amounted to only a minor assault. While it found the use of the OC spray was justified, the use of the Taser was not a proportionate response... More>>

ALSO:

Little Surprise: Andrew Little To Contest Labour Leadership

I have decided to contest the Labour Party leadership. There are three immediate issues to deal with: creating greater cohesion across the caucus, rebuilding the relationship between caucus and the Party and, most importantly getting the process under way to listen to the voters who have abandoned us... More>>

ALSO:

Two Fewer Votes In Recount: "Positive Result" - Harawira

When I applied for a recount of the votes from the Tai Tokerau election, I made it clear that this application was not aimed at overturning the election result, but ensuring that all votes cast by Maori were treated with due respect, regardless of whether those votes are for Labour, Maori Party or MANA. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news