Auditor-General report on social housing

Dec 19, 2017 | Reports

The Auditor-General published a report today looking at how well Housing New Zealand uses information to meet the needs of its tenants in its management of tenancies, maintenance of houses, and management and investment in new and existing housing.

They made a number of recommendations including:

-placing people in social housing and understanding their needs

-Improving services to tenants

-Maintaining social housing

– Investing in social housing

On the latter the report states the need to look at a coherent long-term social housing strategy

“The government organisations with responsibilities in the social housing sector (the Ministry, the Treasury, Te Puni Kōkiri, and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) need to work collaboratively to provide a coherent long-term social housing strategy. In our view, this stronger leadership would support social housing investment decisions and create a better quality of life for people in social housing.”

“It would also provide the direction needed by Housing New Zealand and community housing providers for their longer-term asset investment plans.”

Amongst other recommendations they recommended that:

  • Housing New Zealand Corporation develop a longer-term asset investment plan;
  • government organisations involved in the housing sector (Housing New Zealand Corporation, the Ministry of Social Development, the Treasury, Te Puni Kōkiri, and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) prepare a long-term strategy for social housing, including how demand will be met; and
  • the Ministry of Social Development set longer-term purchasing intentions and clearer expectations of quality, quantity, and availability of social housing.

Newshub reported that theAuditor-General’s office also did a stocktake of the agency and found that the housing stock is out of whack with what’s needed. That’s resulting in more than half of Housing New Zealand’s tenants being put in ill-suited homes, including a number that are in overcrowded homes.

The overcrowding problem is worst in Auckland, where 25 percent of state homes have more people crammed in than there are rooms available.

That’s a stark difference to Dunedin where 61 percent of homes were underutilised. Housing New Zealand classes that as having more than one bedroom spare.

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