Social Housing Reforms
What are the social housing reforms?
- Housing New Zealand (HNZ) is no longer the provider of social housing, this will be controlled by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).
- State Housing will no longer be “for life” and instead will be emergency housing for those in the “most need”.
- The government are limiting their role in providing state homes and are privatising their stock to Community Housing Providers (CHPs), developers and private companies.
- 800 state housing tenants went under Reviewable Tenancies starting July 1st, of those 27 are elderly or severely disabled.
- Under reviewable tenancies if you are earning above the threshold ($550.41 a week for single earner and $846.78 for people who have a partner and/or dependent children)or are living in a house that is not “suitable” you may be forced to find a rental property with a private landlord.
How will the reforms impact on tenants?
- Reviewable tenancies threatens to force families out of their community and into the private rental market where they will be discriminated against by private landlords.
- State housing is already unaffordable and with rents rising and wages staying the same, families will struggle to sustain in the private market.
- Children of tenants forced from their state homes may have to change schools, this transience has been proven to have negative social outcomes.
- Elderly, seen to not need a 3-4 bedroom home will be moved away from their community networks and health providers, and forced out of their routine, evictions in the past have led to an escalation in health problems.
- Tenants will no longer have face-to-face contact with HNZ and will have to wait even longer to receive assistance.
- MSD will be looking at all tenants employment and payment history and if they believe people have been paid an incorrect amount they will force tenants to pay it back.