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Client obligations and tenancy reviews

All tenancy reviews are on hold until after mid-2018

Tenancy reviews are on hold while Government looks at which public housing tenant groups should be exempt from reviews in the future.

While tenancy reviews are on hold, tenants with a review in progress do not need to do anything more or to seek alternative housing unless they wish to. MSD will contact tenants when tenancy reviews re-start.

MSD has been doing tenancy reviews since July 2014 and in that time has helped 511 clients move out of social housing. By 29 February 2016, 66 clients had gone on to buy their own home following a tenancy review.

When tenancy reviews were first introduced the initial focus was on those tenants paying market, or near market, rent and living in areas with a high supply of private housing.

As we’ve helped more people to become independent we’ve identified the types of support clients find most helpful.

Our experience has taught us that not only are there tenants who, with the right support, can move into private housing (including home ownership) but also, tenants may be living in social housing that in no longer the best fit for their needs.

People’s housing needs change over time. While some tenants may require social housing for many years, the type of property that suits them best could change over time.

To address this, the selection criteria for clients who may have a tenancy review has broadened.

All social housing tenants, with a few exceptions, may be contacted for a tenancy review. This makes sure that the right people are in the right place for the right length of time and that social housing places are freed up for those who need them most.

Only those tenants who live in a property modified for their needs (eg with wheelchair access), who have an agreed lifetime tenure with Housing New Zealand or who are 75 years of age or older, won’t be selected for a tenancy review.

Tenants who live in Canterbury won’t be selected for tenancy reviews until 2017.

People who are eligible for social housing will be able to stay in social housing.

It’s important that people who have benefited from social housing, but whose situation has largely improved, are given the support to move into the private rental market or home ownership, if they’re able to.

We appreciate that the tenancy review process may be challenging for some people. We understand that everyone’s circumstances are different and we will work with tenants to understand their situation and whether or not they could, with some extra assistance, move to alternative housing, or more suitable social housing.

Tenant obligations

All tenants in social housing, including those paying market rent, have to let MSD know straight away if they have a change in their circumstances that may affect the amount of rent they pay, their continued eligibility for social housing, or their particular need for the property they’re in.

This is a new obligation which came into effect on 14 April 2016. Before then, we only asked tenants who were paying income-related rent to advise us of changes that could affect the amount of rent they paid.

Continued eligibility for social housing is assessed as part of the tenancy review process.

If a tenant gives us false information or doesn’t tell us about a change in their circumstances they could be prosecuted and face a fine and/or imprisonment.

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