New Housing NZ Options and Advice Service

( A successful pilot scheme has led to a nationwide rollout of an exciting initiative to improve how Housing New Zealand responds to the public, Acting Housing Minister Maurice Williamson announced today.

The Housing New Zealand Options and Advice service will be rolled out nationally over the next three months, starting in 18 Housing New Zealand neighbourhood units today.

“The reality is that Housing New Zealand cannot house everyone who walks through its doors, but it can do more to help them.

“Options and Advice is about being smart by joining people up with other government and non-government services or the private rental sector to provide them with a broader suite of options than just state housing.”

Mr Williamson said the service would provide customers with information about state housing, private rental housing, government assistance available to help sustain their current housing situation, and services available to help with home ownership.

“Closer ties have been forged with Work and Income and private rental agents to develop packaged options for customers.

“The advantage of this approach is two-fold. Housing New Zealand gets to help more people who get to make informed choices about which housing options they wish to pursue. In doing so, they can exercise some control over their own circumstances, making the whole experience of asking for help a more positive one.”

“I would like to acknowledge the support from the Ministry of Social Development during the Options and Advice programme’s pilot. This partnership between Housing New Zealand staff and Work and Income staff will now be extended nationwide, and I know customers will benefit from a more efficient and effective use of resources,” Mr Williamson said.

The successful six month pilot was offered in eight Housing New Zealand neighbourhood units.

More information on the nationwide rollout

The first phase will be rolled out on 10 March in 18 Neighbourhood Units. These are located in: Invercargill, Hutt, Blenheim, Linwood, Timaru, Hastings, Thames, Whakatane, Levin, Whangarei, Hamilton, Manawatu, Otara, Glenn Innes, Henderson/Westgate, Onehunga, Panmure, Manurewa (and Clendon).

The next two phases will roll-out across the country on 7 April and 5 May, respectively.

Neighbourhood Units offering the service on 7 April will be West Coast, Porirua, Nelson, Gisborne, Huntly, Tauranga, Wanganui, Mt Roskill, Papakura, Otahuhu.

Neighbourhood Units offering the service on 5 May will be Dunedin, Wellington, Papanui, Napier, Te Kuiti, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Kaitata/Kaikohe, Mangere (Central and East and Service Centre), Takapuna and Greys Ave/Morningside and New Lynn.

Media Release 10 March 2010 from Hon Maurice Williamson, Acting Minister of Housing.
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