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Helping more families into rental housing

Paula Bennett

15 MAY, 2014

Helping more families into rental housing

The Government is investing more in social housing, including $77.5 million of new operating funding and $18.2 million of new capital funding over the next four years, Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says.

“This will provide more families with access to affordable rental housing,” she says.

Last month, the Ministry of Social Development took over responsibility for housing assessments, tenancy reviews, managing social housing providers, the waiting list, fraud investigation and debt recovery.

Today’s Budget announcement provides funding for MSD’s new functions as well as new money to encourage people who can to move to alternate accommodation.

“Some people may struggle to move to alternative social housing because of upfront costs such as bond, letting fees and moving costs, or because landlords perceive them as risky tenants,” Mrs Bennett says.

“A new housing support package totalling $8 million over four years will deliver a range of assistance to support people to overcome these barriers. It will also help those who, with a little assistance, could manage private accommodation.”

This new assistance will be available from July 2014, and will be available only to households likely to be able to maintain independent housing.

“New operating funding of $64.3 million and $16.4 million of capital funding from the Future Investment Fund will support MSD’s new housing functions, including information technology and administration,” Mrs Bennett says.

From July 2014, tenancy reviews will begin to be rolled out for social housing tenants. $5.2 million of new operating funding and $1.8 million of capital funding from the Future Investment Fund will ensure that staff have the time and resources to undertake reviews with care and consideration of individuals’ circumstances.

This new support for social housing tenants is complemented by a $30 million boost to the Social Housing Fund to increase the size of New Zealand’s community housing sector, announced today by the Minister of Housing.

“Social housing is undergoing significant change. As well as freeing up social housing for those people who most need it for as long as they need it, we are growing the social housing sector,” Mrs Bennett says.

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