New High Needs Housing Service LaunchedHousing New Zealand Ltd
The Government is making it easier for people with housing problems such as overcrowding to find out what services are available to help them.
A new 0800 number "0800 AT HOME" will be set up to provide co-ordinated advice and support on services available to people in the areas of Housing, Health and Welfare.
The service is part of a package of housing measures being announced by the National minority Government this week. The phone service will be a one-stop-shop information centre to help people access the expertise and services they are entitled to from Government agencies, and is. It will also be available to people who are offering advice and assistance to people with housing problems.
Community Housing Limited will run the service with the help of Housing New Zealand, the Ministry of Health and the Departments of Social Welfare and Work and Income.
Health Minister Bill English, Social Services Minister Roger Sowry and the Minister Responsible for Housing New Zealand and the Housing Corporation of New Zealand Murray McCully believe the 0800 service is critical to improving access to government services by low income people.
"We believe there are many people who are eligible for housing support from the Government but who simply don't know what's available to them," Mr McCully said.
"This new service will help improve that situation by providing instant access to co-ordinated advice and support on the services the Government can provide to low income earners with housing, health and welfare needs.
"Over the next few weeks, I will also be seeking meetings with Pacific Islands leaders to discuss overcrowding and the associated cultural issues to do with housing.
"Overcrowding is an area we are keen to address with the new service by giving people free information about how we can help them with their housing problem."