The Auckland relocation grant will be stopped after increasing state house waiting lists in other towns and cities showed it was just moving housing pressure to other parts of New Zealand, Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced on 18 December.
“Since the Relocation from Auckland Assistance was introduced in June 2016, there has been an across-the-board increase in the demand for public and private housing, especially in regions and towns close to Auckland.
“This initiative was just shifting the housing problem. It no longer makes sense to support families move to areas where demand is already high,” Mr Twyford said.
From 15 January next year no new applications for the grant will be taken by the Ministry of Social Development.
“This initiative was a rushed and piecemeal response by the former government to the growing number of homeless in Auckland. National had failed to fund this grant beyond the end of this year and so instead of seeking new funding, the Government has decided to discontinue the grant.
“The Coalition Government has a broad housing reform agenda which will increase the public housing stock throughout New Zealand. We will build thousands of new state houses and increase emergency and transitional housing.
“These policies, along with our KiwiBuild initiative to build 100,000 affordable homes in 10 years, will help take the pressure off the state housing waiting list,” Mr Twyford says.
The Ministry of Social Development will continue to provide assistance to people facing barriers to moving to the private rental market, or who need to move town for family reasons or work opportunities.