Social Housing

Paula Bennett Prime Minister Social Housing

The National-led Government is committed to providing more social houses to New Zealanders in need.

That’s why we’ve announced a social housing reform programme that will see low-income and vulnerable New Zealanders receiving housing support that better meets their needs.

We are also encouraging and developing a more diverse ownership of social housing that will be more innovative and responsive to tenants and communities.

Over the next three years, the National-led Government will:

  • Increase the overall number of social housing places – where tenants receive an income-related rent subsidy from the Government – by 3,000 to 65,000.
  • In Auckland, as part of this increase, an initial 300 income-rent related subsidies will shortly be offered to community housing providers.
  • Ensure Housing New Zealand has enough capital to build new social houses and develop its existing properties.
  • Continue to work hard to reduce the number of people waiting for social housing and reduce pressure on emergency housing. A $500,000 cash injection will be available for emergency housing, alongside a wider review of funding. The Government will also create an Auckland emergency housing database.
  • Increase the supply of affordable housing for people to buy, particularly in Auckland.
  • Help transition social housing tenants to independence, as appropriate. We will aim to undertake 3,000 more tenancy reviews this year and next year, focusing on market renters or near-market renters, to help free up places for others with greater needs.
  • Commission a strategic review of Housing New Zealand to help ensure Housing New Zealand properties are in the right places and of the right size and configuration to meet existing and future demand.
  • Encourage and develop a more diverse ownership of social housing, involving approved community housing providers, but only if we can get better services for tenants and communities, and fair and reasonable value for taxpayers.
  • Look to sell between 1,000 and 2,000 Housing New Zealand properties over the coming year for use as social housing run by approved community housing providers. Housing New Zealand will continue to be by far the largest owner of social housing, with the Government committed to maintaining at least 60,000 properties in Housing New Zealand’s portfolio by 2017.

This goes alongside the other initiatives we have underway in housing, and in supporting the most vulnerable New Zealanders when they need it most.

These include HomeStart, which will be up and running from 1 April this year, helping an estimated 90,000 home buyers into their first house over the next five years.

These social housing reforms are also part of the National-led Government’s wider approach of delivering better public services to New Zealanders who rely on them.

More information