Further tenancy review exemptions to be considered

Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford is pausing periodic tenancy reviews of public housing tenants while he considers whether the groups of tenants exempt from the process should be widened.

Tenancy reviews determine whether a person or family still needs public housing and makes sure they are in a house that meets their current needs. They are on hold until the end of June.

“While public housing is not intended to be a house for life, it’s important we recognise that some vulnerable groups of tenants will continue to need secure public housing and support for a long time,” Phil Twyford says.

“I want to make sure that all our most vulnerable groups of tenants are recognised and protected; they should not be asked to do a tenancy review.

“It is important that tenancy reviews involve those tenants who are ready to move towards more independence, not those who need the security of long term public housing.”

Currently, the only public housing tenants exempt from periodic tenancy reviews are people 75 and older; people whose house is modified for their needs such as wheelchair access; households working with a Children’s Team in the Ministry for Children Oranga Tamariki; and those with an agreed lifetime tenure with Housing New Zealand.

While exemption criteria are being considered, the hold on tenancy reviews will protect those, who could be exempt under new criteria, from taking steps to leave their housing in the meantime.

The Ministry of Social Development is contacting tenants already in the review process to let them know they do not need to do anything more for the time being.