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Help For Homeowners Impacted By Severe Weather

Hon Louise Upston

Minister for Social Development and Employment

Temporary Accommodation Assistance will soon be available to more people who can’t live in their homes due to the severe weather events of 2022 and 2023, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.

“This will help more people who had to move out of their homes and have extra accommodation costs to cover following the Auckland floods and Cyclone Gabrielle in 2023, and floods that hit the top of the South Island in August 2022.

“Funding had previously been set aside to help with this, but the eligibility criteria were quite narrow, and some homeowners missed out due to circumstances beyond their control.

“We know some people have endured significant financial hardship since these severe weather events, and I’m pleased we’ve found a way to support them.”

Those who now qualify include:

  • People whose homes are uninhabitable but did not receive a red or yellow placard from their council
  • People whose lack of insurance cover was for reasons outside of their control, having taken reasonable steps to get insurance cover in time
  • People whose choice of temporary accommodation was not previously eligible, such as flats and house sharing agreements, hire agreements for cabins, mobile homes or caravans, lodging or boarding arrangements, or commercial accommodation.

People can apply for this expanded assistance from 1 April 2024. Anyone who was previously declined or thought they were ineligible and believe they may now qualify are encouraged to contact MSD from this date.

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“I’ve asked MSD to review the applications of people who have previously been declined support, to see whether they may now be eligible,” Louise Upston says.

“We’re not extending this support to the small number of people whose homes are solely held in trusts because the complexity of the legislative changes required would have taken significant time and prolonged hardship for those who do now qualify.”

Notes on expanded Temporary Accommodation Assistance

  • Temporary Accommodation Assistance is a weekly payment for homeowners displaced by severe weather events and who are facing two sets of unavoidable accommodation costs
  • How much you can get is based on your family type and the area your temporary accommodation is in. More information on the rates for this payment can be found here
  • A lump sum hardship payment is also available to newly eligible people who could not cover the full cost of their temporary accommodation as far back as 1 January 2024. The final date to apply for this will be 30 April 2024
  • This payment aligns with the payment to people who qualified under the original criteria, which recognised gaps in financial support for up to three months before they became eligible for this programme
  • Applications from those who already qualified under the programme’s previous criteria remain open

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