Pursuant to section 102(2)(a) of the Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters Act 1992 ("Act"), the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Housing, and the Minister for Social Development ("joint Ministers"), after consultation with the Agency appointed under section 100 of the Act and the Regulatory Authority appointed under section 159 of the Act, give the following direction to the Agency.
D i r e c t i o n
1. Title-This direction is the Ministerial Direction on Eligibility for Social Housing.
2. Commencement-This direction comes into force on 14 April 2014.
3. Interpretation-In this direction, unless the context otherwise requires-
accessibility means whether a person has access to housing other than social housing.
adequacy means whether the reason a person needs to move from their current accommodation is because that accommodation is not fit for habitation, or is in a serious state of disrepair that presents a severe and significant health and safety risk to the occupants.
agency means the social housing agency or agencies appointed under section 100 of the Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters Act 1992.
affordability means whether a person, including any other person who would, together with the person, be an applicable person in relation to any social housing that may be allocated to the person, can afford (with any financial assistance and resources available to them) suitable housing, other than social housing, in accordance with the calculation in Schedule 1.
applicable person, in relation to any social housing, means every person to whom the housing is or is to be let, and includes every person who is the spouse or partner of such a person.
main benefit means a main benefit under this Act as defined in section 3(1) of the Social Security Act 1964.
ordinarily resident in New Zealand, in relation to any person, does not include being unlawfully resident in New Zealand.
social housing means HNZ housing or community housing.
specified area means the districts of the following territorial authorities:
(a) Christchurch District Council;
(b) Hurunui District Council;
(c) Selwyn District Council;
(d) Waimakariri District Council.
suitability means whether the person's household needs to move from their current accommodation having regard to-
(a) security of tenure of current accommodation (for example, how immediate is the person's need to leave their current accommodation);
(b) medical, disability, or personal needs that are contributing to the person's need to move from their current accommodation;
(c) the degree to which a property is overcrowded having regard to the guidelines as set out in Schedule 2.
sustainability means the likelihood of a person being able to retain housing other than social housing, taking into account factors such as a person's money management skills and social skills, and history of transience.
4. Eligibility for social housing-For a person to be eligible to be allocated social housing he or she-
(a) must meet the basic age and residency qualifications in clause 5; and
(b) must meet the income and asset thresholds in clause 6, except as provided for in subclause 6.3; and
(c) must have a housing need of a kind set out in clause 7.
5. Age and residential qualification-(1) The basic age qualifications are that the person-
(a) is aged 18 years or older; or
(b) is aged 16 or 17 years and be, or have previously been, married or in a civil union; or
(c) is 16 or 17 years of age, single or in a de facto relationship, subject to that person obtaining, under the Minors Contracts Act 1969 from the Tenancy Tribunal or a District Court, approval to enter into a tenancy agreement in respect of particular social housing.
(2) The basic residential qualifications are that the person is ordinarily resident in New Zealand and-
(a) is a New Zealand citizen; or
(b) is a permanent resident who has been in New Zealand for more than two years since he or she became a permanent resident.
(3) A person is deemed to have met the basic residential qualifications in subclause 5.2 if he or she is eligible for, and receiving, a main benefit.
6. Income and asset thresholds-(1) A person must meet the income and asset thresholds in Schedule 3.
(2) The income and assets of a person include the income and assets of any other person who would, together with the person, be an applicable person in relation to any social housing that may be allocated to the person.
(3) Where a person does not meet the income and asset thresholds in subclause 6.1 but meets the criteria in clause 7, the agency may, in its discretion, determine that person as eligible for social housing.
7. Housing need-(1) A person must have a persistent housing need that is-
(a) serious; or
(b) severe and must be addressed immediately.
(2) In determining the housing need in subclause 7.1, the Agency must have regard to the following factors:
(3) If a person lives in a specified area, in determining whether that person has a persistent housing need in subclause 7.1, the agency may from time to time disregard either or both of the factors set out in paragraphs (a) and (d) of subclause 7.2.
Calculation of Affordability Formula
A reference to "person" includes any other person who would, together with the person, be an applicable person in relation to any social housing that may be allocated to the person.
Step number Description Total $
Step 1 Calculate net1 weekly income of the person (including the weekly rate of any family tax credit received) Total A - income including Family Tax Credit received
Step 2 Calculate lower quartile weekly rent in the area the person needs to live minus the weekly amount of Accommodation Supplement under the Social Security Act 1964 the person may be eligible to receive Total B - lower quartile rent minus calculated Accommodation Supplement
Step 3 Subtract Total B from Total A Total A - Total B = Total C
Step 4 Divide Total C by the weekly unabated rate of main benefit the person is receiving or would receive for that household type (including any Family Tax Credit) x 100 Residual income %
1. There should be no more than two persons per bedroom.
2. Children 10 years of age or older of the opposite sex should not share a bedroom.
3. Children less than 18 years of age and of the same sex may reasonably share a bedroom.
4. Single adults, couples, and parents, should have a separate bedroom.
Income and Asset Thresholds
Part 1. Income
(a) For single persons who have no spouse or partner and no dependent children-
(i) 1.5 x the net2 weekly living alone rate of New Zealand Superannuation set out in Schedule 1, clause 1(a) of the
New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001.
(b) For any other persons-
(i) 1.5 x the net3 weekly married rate of New Zealand Superannuation set out in Schedule 1, clause 1(c) of the
New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001.
Part 2. Assets
A person must have cash assets (within the meaning of section 61E of the Social Security Act 1964) under 10% of the national median house price as determined and updated by the Agency, from time to time, with reference to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).
Dated at Wellington this 14th day of April 2014.
HON BILL ENGLISH, Minister of Finance.
HON PAULA BENNETT, Minister for Social Development.
HON DR NICK SMITH, Minister of Housing.
This note is not part of the direction, but is intended to indicate its general effect.
This direction by the joint Ministers sets eligibility criteria for social housing that are similar to those applied by Housing
New Zealand Corporation, a Crown Agency under the Crown Entities Act 2004, immediately prior to Part 2 of the Social Housing Reform (Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters Amendment) Act 2013 coming into force on 14 April 2014.
1After the deduction of income tax under the Income Tax Act 2007.
2After the deduction of income tax under the Income Tax Act 2007.
3After the deduction of income tax under the Income Tax Act 2007.