Budget 2013: Major changes to social housing

Budget 2013: Major changes to social housing
Budget 2013 presents three major changes to social housing including supporting the transition from social housing to alternative housing, income-related rent subsidies, and shifting housing needs assessments from Housing New Zealand to the Ministry of Social Development.

Budget 2013 has outlined three major changes to social housing including supporting the transition from social housing to alternative housing, income-related rent subsidies, and shifting housing needs assessments from Housing New Zealand to the Ministry of Social Development. 

As part of a strategy to develop pathways for New Zealanders in social housing to "regain independence and self-sufficiency", reviewable tenancies will be extended to all social housing tenants. This policy will be supported with $47 million from the 2013 Budget. 

"This will mean people can be in social housing when they have high needs, and for as long as those needs persist," Finance Minister Bill English said. "But they will be given support to move into alternative housing when their situation improves and they are in a position to take that step to independence." 

Income-related rent subsidies will increase by $27 million over four years. 

"Opening income-related rents up to community housing providers puts them on an equal footing with Housing New Zealand and opens the door for much greater participation in the social housing sector," says English. 

The final key change for social housing outlined in the Budget speech is the shifting of housing needs assessments from Housing New Zealand to the Ministry of Social Development. 

"This means needs assessments will be independent of any housing provider, and people seeking different types of government assistance can get it from one organisation," says English.