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

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics.

Can the two surviving Maori Party MPs (one electorate, one list) credibly work together with the old firebrand who split up the group years ago, and still hope to rekindle some of that same old magic? More>>

 

Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:

Welfare: WINZ Breaching Privacy Laws With WINZ Vetting Rules

E tū, the union for security guards, says WINZ may be breaching privacy laws with its new screening process for people visiting WINZ offices. The vetting requires WINZ security guards to check photo ID and whether visitors to WINZ offices have an appointment.More>>

ALSO:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Turnbull Visit: Leaders’ Talks Cement Trade Relations, Science Agreement

Mr English met with Prime Minister Turnbull in Queenstown today to discuss common approaches to bilateral and international issues, including trade and science and innovation. Mr English also thanked Mr Turnbull for Australia’s offer of support for those fighting the fires on the Port Hills in Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news