Latest figures from the Public Housing Quarterly Report show that the Government is pulling out all the stops to house and support people in the face of the housing crisis, Phil Twyford said.
“In the September quarter, we increased the number of public housing tenancies by 451. We also made 244 more transitional housing places available and housed 1,721 households from public housing waiting list.
“There are also 413 homeless people or families now in stable housing through the Housing First programme in Auckland, Christchurch and Tauranga.
“At the same time, we’re seeing more people coming forward for help, which is particularly telling, considering we made 1,742 additional public housing, transitional housing and Housing First places available for people in need this winter.
“The continuing demand for public housing and other housing support shows that it’s going to take a concerted effort over many years to end homelessness. The housing crisis was created over a decade and isn’t going to be fixed overnight.
“There are now 66,235 households in public housing, with 9,536 households on the waiting list for public housing. This shows the hidden homeless that we warned about at the beginning of the year are continuing to come forward,” Phil Twyford said.
The number of people or families seeking Emergency Housing Special Needs Grants rose to 3,840 in the September quarter – 33 per cent more than the previous quarter.
The number of transitional housing places tenanted or available is now 2,585. These are warm, dry and secure housing places and support for people or families while they find a longer-term home.
“While we build New Zealand out of the national housing crisis, including by building 6,400 more public housing places over the next four years, we’ll continue to do whatever it takes to support people and families in need,” Phil Twyford said.
The majority of all applicants on the public housing waiting list are already receiving some form of housing assistance from the Ministry of Social Development. This may include financial assistance to maintain an existing tenancy, the provision of transitional housing, or the payment of an Emergency Housing Special Needs Grant.
September 2018 Public Housing Quarterly Report at a glance:
• Public Housing Supply – The total number of public housing tenancies increased by 451 over the September 2018 quarter. Work continues with the housing sector to build around 6,400 more public housing places by June 2022 – 1,600 per year on average.
• Transitional Housing – An additional 244 transitional housing places became available in the quarter, with a total of 2,585 places now tenanted or available for tenanting.
• Housing First – Housing First services for long-term homeless people in Auckland, Tauranga and Christchurch had housed 413 households as at 30 September 2018, in both public and private housing.
• People housed – 1,660 households or individual applicants moved into public housing from the Housing Register, and a further 61 moved from the Transfer Register. That’s a combined 13% increase on last quarter.
• Public Housing Demand: The Housing Register of applicants for public housing increased by 10% over the previous quarter, and is up 58% on the same time last year. As of 30 September, 9,536 households were on the Housing Register for public housing and 2,076 on the Transfer Register, totalling 11,612 on the Social Housing Register.
• Emergency Housing Special Needs Grant – The number of households granted an Emergency Housing Special Needs Grants (EH SNG) increased by 33% over the previous quarter as more people come forward to MSD for housing support.
• Housing Support – In the September 2018 quarter, MSD invested $692.5 million in housing support, an increase of $46 million over the previous quarter. This year around $2.8 billion will be spent on providing New Zealanders with housing support.
• The Public Housing Quarterly Report is released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD formed on 1 October to deliver the Government’s housing and urban development programme to end homelessness, make housing affordable and cities more liveable. The Housing Quarterly Report contains information on public housing and housing support from both the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).