​Emergency motel stays starting to decline

Oct 26, 2017 | News

New figures from the Ministry of Social Development and cited in this Stuff article show that in the last three months $8.96 million was given out to cover short seven-day motel stays for families or individuals in dire need.

Figures show 9159 grants made. This is a drop on the previous three-month period of April-June when a record $12.6m was spent on 11,446 grants.

It’s about level with the $8.8m spent in the first three months of 2017.

Outgoing social housing minister Amy Adams saidthe numbers had peaked mid-year.

“While we’ve spent a lot in the last quarter we’re also seeing that that has peaked now, and there are some really pretty good signs that that is dropping, which is exactly what we expected,” Adams said in July.

“This is exactly what we wanted to happen but it takes time to build 1400-odd transitional houses, and the motel grants have been a way for us to bridge that.”

SARAH ROBERTS/FAIRFAX NZ

Labour’s Phil Twyford, likely to be the Housing Minister by the end of the week.

Transitional homes are homes that people can access while they wait for social housing.

When the government introduced the policy in 2016, it budgeted just $2m a year for the scheme, which rapidly became oversubscribed.

Over the last three months 285,485 individuals or families made use of the accommodation supplement, up slightly from 284,572 in the previous quarter.

MSD gave out $16.5m in accommodation-related hardship assistance, up slightly from $16.3m in the previous three months.

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