Supporting whānau out of emergency housing

Whānau with tamariki growing up in emergency housing motels will be prioritised for social housing starting this week, says Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka.

“Giving these whānau a better opportunity to build healthy stable lives for themselves and future generations is an essential part of the Government’s goal of reducing the number of households in emergency housing by 75 per cent by 2030,” Mr Potaka says.

From 30 April, the Ministry of Social Development will prioritise whānau with dependent tamariki who have been in emergency housing for longer than 12 weeks to the top of the social housing waitlist.

In December 2023, about 3100 households and 3186 tamariki were in emergency housing. About 60 per cent were in it for over 12 weeks.

“Kainga Ora opened a 31-home development in Gisborne earlier this month. There was a mum moving in with three teenagers who lived in a tent through Cyclone Gabrielle. Then they moved into a motel. Now she’s looking forward to being able to cook for her family in an oven,” Mr Potaka says.

“This is the reality for a lot of people out there over the last few years. We know more than half the whānau in emergency housing are our Māori people. Now this Government is writing a fresh chapter for that story by returning emergency housing to its original intent – as a last resort used for short periods.

“We will do this by clarifying the eligibility process, restarting reviews of current tenancies to ensure social housing is there for those who most need it, and ensuring that more houses are built overall as part of National’s big Going for Housing Growth initiative.

“Delivering better public services is needed for good Government, for whānau and, ultimately, for rebuilding the economy.”