Review of emergency housing occupancy/tenancy agreements

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) is reviewing the occupancy and tenancy agreements used by emergency and transitional housing providers to support the development of best practice in the use of these documents.

Working alongside the Wellington (Emergency) Housing network, Te Waipounamu Housing Network, the Auckland Emergency Housing Network and the Tenants Protection Association, Christchurch, CHA will review current practice, relevant legislation and best practice to share with the sector.

Organisations are requested to participate by agreement and to provide copies of their occupation/ tenancy agreements and any rules/regulations that relate to the provision and occupation of emergency, transitional and shelter accommodation. No identifying references will be made to specific organisations or projects.

Please email copies of your agreements, rules and related documents to Jordan Kendrick at survey@communityhousing.org.nz

The scope for this piece of work can be found here:

Occupation and tenancy agreements for emergency and transitional housing Nov2017.pdf

If your organisation wants to participate in the review then please email copies of your agreements, rules and related documents to Jordan Kendrick by December 20.

Background

Over the last 18 months there has been a government programme to increase the number of emergency housing places available to homeless individuals and whānau throughout the country
(up to 1600 new emergency housing places across 50 providers). Treasury and MSD have led this initiative and worked with new and existing providers to deliver this programme. The programme has been branded by government as transitional housing and contracts for delivery have been negotiated between MSD and providers. This is in addition to some existing programmes either delivered independently or through other contracts.

While there are common requirements of the contracted programmes much of the day to day practice including the form and content of occupation and tenancy agreements is at the discretion of individual providers. These will vary in relation to the philosophy of each organisation, the different cohorts served and the different physical (built) environments.

This review will bring together the different forms of occupancy/tenancy agreements and common clauses (rights and responsibilities).It will identify the key elements of practice (linked to context where relevant), and provide an adjacent commentary of the legal requirements where these apply, specifically in the Residential Tenancies Act but including other legislation and codes of practice where relevant.

Key/common elements of the programme
(from MSD Transitional Housing Operational Guidelines August 2017)

Your key roles and responsibilities are to:

·provide emergency housing services to eligible people

·assess client suitability for your service

·identify any health and social needs affecting the household that need to be addressed

·ensure individuals/households have an average stay of less than twelve weeks

·identify longer-term housing solutions for clients leaving your service

·assist the client to transition in to sustainable, longer-term accommodation

·*manage your occupation agreement with the client

·prepare an individualised transition plan for each household

·ensure individuals/households are supported to apply for Social Housing (where applicable)

·provide wrap around services where appropriate

·ensure all personal information held about individuals and households is kept secure at all times

·provide accurate and timely information to the Ministry

·maintain at least Level 3 MSD Approval

·work with the Regional Contracts Manager to resolve any issues regarding your contract as they arise.

(*not applicable for Emergency Housing Support Services (Motel) Agreements)

The review and / or subsequent summary will be made available to all relevant stakeholders and on the CHA website.

Timeframe

Review – November 2017 to January 2018

Circulation and workshops / network discussions – February 2018 to April 2018.

Discussion

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