Housing Quarterly Report released on 1 February 2018

On 1 February, MSD released the December Housing Quarterly Report on its website.

We are pleased to see MSD continually improving and strengthening the transparency of the data. There is an open invitation to our sector to identify further opportunities for MSD to improve the reports. You can read the full report here.

We note that proportionally, CHPs are housing at least as many if not slightly more households from the register than HNZC.

Housing Support

·For the December quarter MSD has spent $576.3 million on housing support. This year MSD will spend around $2.3 billion on providing New Zealanders with housing support ranging from places in emergency accommodation and transitional housing, through to financial support to remain housed in the private housing market.

·MSD is paying more Income-Related Rent Subsidy payments for individual households than before, with the total number of public housing tenancies increasing by 268 over the December quarter. While there are quarterly changes in the level of IRRS places over the last year, the total has increased by 3% on the same time last year.

·The number of people receiving the Accommodation Supplement is relatively stable, but use of Temporary Additional Support continues to grow significantly, as more households reach the maximum rate of Accommodation Supplement due to rising accommodation costs.

Public Housing Supply

·MSD’s 2016 Purchasing Strategy seeks an additional 6,400 public houses by June 2020. In this quarter, we’ve reached 74% of the additional housing required in the pipeline.

·There are currently 66,367 public houses. Of these, 5,083 community houses are provided by Community Housing Provider (CHP), and 61,284 state houses are provided by Housing New Zealand (HNZ).

·In Auckland, the number of CHP houses contracted or approved in the public housing supply pipeline is at 913, an increase from 660 in the September quarter. In addition, there are 450 potential places that are likely to result from opportunities currently under discussion.

·MSD's new supply programme is also actively pursuing CHP opportunities throughout the rest of New Zealand, with 41 potential new community houses in Canterbury and Wellington.

·MSD is in discussions with CHPs regarding proposals for new builds in Auckland, Wellington, Bay of Plenty, Napier, Palmerston North and Tauranga.

·HNZ's redevelopment activity in Auckland continues, with 2,145 additional state houses through the Auckland Housing Programme, and 596 state houses in the rest of New Zealand.

Housing First

·MSD has contracted five service providers to support 472 chronic homeless rough-sleepers access suitable long-term housing solutions. As at 31 December 2017, 176 participants have been placed into secure and stable accommodation.

Transitional Housing

·An additional 238 transitional housing places became available in the quarter, with a total of 1,901 places now tenanted or available for tenanting out of the 2017/18 target of 2,155 places, which could support 8,620 families each year.

·Transitional housing places are being brought on throughout New Zealand, with MSD looking to purchase or build in Auckland, Whangarei, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Napier, Hastings, Palmerston North, Wellington, and Blenheim.

Emergency Housing

·MSD has seen a 33% decrease in the number of Emergency Housing Special Need Grants (EH SNG) being approved in the quarter, and a 27% decrease in the number of individuals accessing the assistance, as more transitional housing places have become available.

·Over the December 2017 quarter, there were 6,172 Emergency Housing Special Needs Grants made. These grants were worth $6,566,960.

Public Housing Demand – The Social Housing Register

·There were 1,673 individuals and families housed over the December 2017 quarter

·This quarter the Social Housing Register increased by 5%. This Register increase is mostly due to less people housed (down 11%) and fewer public housing tenancies ending (down 15%). However the number of new entries to the Register decreased by 6%.

·As at 31 December 2017, the Social Housing Register was up 5% compared to the September quarter, which was not as high as the 8% increase from the June 2017 quarter.

·Living situations for applicants on the Social Housing Register include, private accommodation (26%), boarding (21%), currently in public housing (17%), in emergency accommodation (16%), temporarily sharing with family or friends (12%), in a temporary facility (2%), or in a homeless situation and are not accessing or seeking additional housing support from MSD (5%).

·People on the Social Housing Register are generally in some form of housing, with 95% of applicants on the register already receiving housing support from MSD.

Public Housing Demand – Regional Overview

·The top two Territorial Authorities for applicants on the Housing Register as at 31 December 2017 continued to be Auckland (2,558) and Christchurch (451), which account for almost half of the applicants on the register.

·Compared with the same time last year, there was an increase in the number of Housing Register applications. Of particular note at a localised level, the Territorial Authorities of Wellington, Porirua, Lower Hutt, and Upper Hutt, collectively saw an increase of 71% (up 315 applicants), in addition to Auckland (up 24% or 498 applicants), and the rest of New Zealand (up 34% or 612 applicants).

Transitions

·Over the quarter, 1,673 applicants from the Social Housing Register were housed, with an average time of 58 days to house. This is a decrease of 11% and on average 8 days longer, when compared to the number of applications housed in the September quarter.

·Over the December 2017 quarter, 1,652 applicants from the Housing Register were housed, and 21 applicants from the Transfer Register were re-housed.

·The majority of applicants housed from both registers were for Priority A applicants (1,579 compared to 94 Priority B applicants). When housed, the majority of applicants from both registers went into a Housing New Zealand property (1,350), while 323 were housed in a Community Housing Provider property.

·The use of Housing Support Products decreased from the last quarter, down 14% from $862,614 over the September 2017 quarter to $745,122 over the December 2017 quarter. This decrease is largely due to less applications being housed and less public housing tenancies being ended, and therefore less people moving into the private housing market.

Discussion

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