More Palmerston North families to benefit under Government’s social housing plans

  • Amy Adams
  • Alfred Ngaro
HNZC Social Housing

Over 190 local Palmerston North families will be helped into a warm, dry place to stay through the Government’s social housing plans for the city.

“We’re building 70 new social houses, which is on top of the 1436 social houses we have in Palmerston North right now. Our plans for 30 short-term transitional housing places will benefit 120 local families every year,” Social Housing Minister Amy Adams says.

“We’ve made a commitment to help New Zealanders with housing when times are tough, and our plans for Palmerston North will help families in need into a warm, dry place to stay.

“We’re on track to have all 30 short-term transitional housing places available by the end of the year, and expect to see the 70 new social houses coming on board over the next three years.

“Housing New Zealand are currently reviewing their stock and vacant land across New Zealand. It’s my expectation that where land is redeveloped, at least 20 per cent is affordable,” Ms Adams says.

“We’ve already secured 29 of the transitional housing places in Palmerston North, meaning that we’re already in a position to help 116 local families this year, with more places scheduled to open in the coming weeks and months,” says Associate Social Housing Minister Alfred Ngaro.

“This is about more than just housing. The investment of $354 million the Government made last year into transitional housing recognises that many of our struggling families are facing some tough challenges. That’s why we’ve partnered with some fantastic community housing providers to make sure they’re getting further help to get back on their feet – from budgeting advice to cooking lessons or parenting support.

“Providers like The Salvation Army and Women's Refuge in Palmerston North go above and beyond to help lift our vulnerable people into a position where they can move on to and sustain long-term housing,” says Mr Ngaro.

Each week, the Government spends over $982,000 to supporting around 20,000 households in the wider Manawatu-Wanganui region with their housing costs.

Across the wider Manawatu-Wanganui region, the Government has plans to bring on 165 additional social houses and 66 short-term transitional housing places – to a total of 2690 social houses across the region. This is in addition to the Emergency Housing Special Needs Grants that are also available to local families in need of somewhere urgent to stay.

About our plan for social housing:

This year, the Government will spend $2.3 billion supporting 310,000 households with their accommodation. Additionally, those seeking immediate shelter can access a Special Needs Grant for accommodation. We have invested $354 million to help 8600 families every year with a warm, safe place to stay. We are also growing the number of social houses available, from 66,000 today to 72,000 by 2020.

What is the difference between social and transitional housing?

Both social and transitional housing may be run by community housing providers.

Transitional housing differs from social housing in that tenants generally only stay for 12 weeks in the property while they are helped to find long-term housing. While there they also receive additional support tailored to their needs. This could include things like budgeting advice, cooking lessons or parenting support. People receive a further 12 weeks of support once they’ve moved into their new property to help them settle in.

What is a ‘housing’ place?

A place may be a freestanding house or a unit in a wider complex. With regard to transitional housing places it refers also to availability over a year. For example a freestanding house used for transitional housing may be classed as four places because four families can be housed there every year.