Cape Reinga

New support – relocating from Auckland

26 May 2016.

To be attributed to Ministry of Social Development Social Housing Deputy Chief Executive Carl Crafar

Work and Income will be able to help eligible applicants with a one-off payment of up to $5000 to relocate from Auckland from 20 June 2016.

This is a voluntary scheme and aims to provide practical assistance to enable people to expand their employment and housing options.

This assistance does not need to be paid back. Our aim is that a one-off, non-recoverable grant will provide practical support for people to get into sustainable housing. Our expectation is that people will look to relocate long-term.

If people return to the social housing register in the Auckland region within a 52-week period without exceptional circumstances, or if they use the payment for purposes other than those intended, they will be required to pay the grant back.

People will need to be living in Auckland and either a current tenant or eligible for social housing to be able to access the scheme.

It is estimated that the funding will allow for 150 individuals and families to relocate as part of this initiative, and we will work closely with people to make sure this is the right move for them – considering family, community, and employment options.

This is not a mandatory scheme - people will need to be willing, able and suitable to move to another part of the country.

As with most other Work and Income assistance, this will be income and asset tested.

If people are in receipt of a benefit, they will have to meet any obligations they may have, including any job search obligations. We will work with people before they move to ensure they can still meet their obligations.

There will also be a new mobile team to reach out to homeless people in Auckland to make sure they are receiving all support they are eligible for. They will also check their eligibility for social housing. The team will be up and running soon. We’ll be looking to work with the Police and our agency and community organisation partners to deliver this service.

At the same time the Minister has announced the early implementation of the new Special Needs Grant, already announced as part of the emergency housing Budget package. This will be brought forward from September and will be available from 1 July. This payment will be non-recoverable and make a significant difference to struggling people and families.