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The Government is ramping up its social housing support in response to a rise in people needing help, Social Housing Minister Amy Adams says.

The latest Social Housing Quarterly Report for the June 2017 quarter shows an increase in the number of places but also the number of vulnerable New Zealanders seeking warm and safe social housing.

“Winter is seeing an increase in the number of people needing support. Our primary focus is getting help to those who need it, and while demand has increased, help is there for those who need it,” says Ms Adams.

“The Government helped 1725 families into homes over the past three months. We’re working hard to help ensure people have somewhere to live, whether it’s emergency, transitional or permanent housing.”

In the last three months, an extra 353 social houses and 386 transitional houses have become available to house vulnerable New Zealand families. This brings the total number of social houses to 66,330. More transitional housing is available every week, with nearly another 300 places available since last month.

“Part of the drive behind the higher demand is rising rents affecting those with low incomes. We’re aware of this pressure, which is why the Government is lifting Accommodation Supplements as part of our $2 billion Family Incomes Package. More social housing is also needed, and the 13,500 new social houses in Auckland and hundreds of others we’re building across the country will help.”

More than 3000 families and individuals have been helped with a Special Needs Grant (SNGs) for emergency housing for motel stays, which is nearly 500 more than in the last quarter.

“While motels are not ideal, they are warm and dry, and preferable to families sleeping rough during the coldest months of the year. Our priority is that those in urgent need have a place to stay while we secure them a social house.  The increase in SNGs underscores the importance of the Government’s $354 million investment to secure 2150 additional transitional housing places.

“The number of SNGs are contributing to the increase in the social housing register. Families staying in transitional housing also remain on the register while they are provided wrap-around support to help them find a stable, permanent home.”

The latest Social Housing Register for the June quarter is available at http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/work-programmes/social-housing/social-housing-quarterly-report-june-2017.pdf

The latest figures on the Housing Register can be found at www.housing.msd.govt.nz/information-for-housing-providers/register

Figures at a glance (as at 30 June):

$565 million total housing support provided in June 2017 quarter Helped 1725 households into homes 5353 people on the housing register – up 10 per cent on last quarter 11,446 emergency housing Special Needs Grants paid to 3108 clients – total spent $12.6 million 66,300 social houses across New Zealand – up 353 properties on last quarter.

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