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Number on social housing register continues to decline

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Housing

22 January 2016

Number on social housing register continues to decline

The December 2015 Social Housing Register shows that better understanding applicant’s particular needs is housing more vulnerable people, Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett says.

Today’s release of the latest quarterly figures show a decrease of 345 from the December 2014 Register to 4,619 applicants. Of this, 1,143 are already housed and are seeking to transfer to a different property.

The December 2015 quarter also saw 1,760 new tenancies started, the most of any 2015 quarter.

“The Government’s number one focus in social housing is getting those who most need our help into safe and warm homes,” says Mrs Bennett.

“A seven per cent decrease in the register is because of the dedicated effort of the Ministry of Social Development’s frontline staff, who are now better resourced to help our most vulnerable New Zealanders find housing that suits their needs.

“When someone approaches the Government for help, simply being placed on the Register and waiting for a state-owned property is no longer the only answer.

“We’re now working with people to find out what their roadblocks are to private rental or even home ownership, both at the time they apply to go on the Register and through the Tenancy Review Process.”

“I’m absolutely thrilled that 47 tenants have even purchased their own homes, and by working closely with them and making the option viable they are now proud homeowners, most of them for the first time” Mrs Bennett says.

Since introducing Housing Support Products in April 2014, the Government has paid out over $1 million for things like bond payments, moving costs, and letting fees.

“Living independently is something we want all social housing tenants to aspire to, and because of the changes we’ve made, it’s a real possibility,” says Mrs Bennett.

The December 2015 register can be found here: - http://www.housing.msd.govt.nz/information-for-housing-providers/register/index.html

ENDS

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