Support not in place for Housing NZ tenants

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party

A memo sent to Housing New Zealand staff this week confirms that the social needs of Housing New Zealand tenants are not a priority for the National Government, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Moana Mackey.Moana Mackey
Housing spokesperson

21 October 2011

Support not in place for Housing NZ tenants

A memo sent to Housing New Zealand staff this week confirms that the social needs of Housing New Zealand tenants are not a priority for the National Government, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Moana Mackey.

“Housing New Zealand staff were told to stop assisting with their tenants ‘wider social needs’ at the beginning of July,” Moana Mackey said. “They claimed that it was all okay because MSD was picking up the support role they were vacating.

“Four months later, however, Housing New Zealand has only just agreed on terms of reference with MSD and three locations where the changes will be ‘trialled’. In the meantime, vulnerable tenants have been left with little or no support.

“These are not really ‘trials’ because the decision has already been made. Just like the ‘Options and Advice’ trials which hadn’t even finished, let alone been evaluated, before that service was rolled out nationwide in order to make it harder for applicants to get on the waiting list.

“If this was really about the best interest of tenants then Housing NZ would have kept providing support to tenants as they always have until a new system could be developed, consulted on, trialled and evaluated to ensure it provides better outcomes for tenants — particularly those with high and complex needs,” Moana Mackey said.

“This is yet another convoluted bureaucratic system being introduced at Housing NZ to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. The National Government should just get out of the way and let tenancy managers use their common sense and work with and support their tenants as they always have.

“This isn’t about the best interests of tenants,” Moana Mackey said. “It’s about cost-cutting, and it’s those vulnerable tenants with high and complex needs who are most likely to fall through the gaps.”

ENDS

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