The new Ministry of Housing and Urban Development will be established from 1 August. It will officially start operating on 1 October.
“Addressing the national housing crisis is one of the biggest challenges our Government faces. The new Ministry will provide the focus and capability in the public service to deliver our reform agenda,” Phil Twyford said.
“Too many New Zealanders are hurting because of their housing situation. Many are locked out of the Kiwi dream of home ownership. Others are homeless or suffering the health effects of poor-quality housing,” says Phil Twyford.
The new Ministry will be the Government’s lead advisor on housing and urban development. It will provide across-the-board advice on housing issues, including responding to homelessness, ensuring affordable, warm, safe and dry rental housing in the private and public market, and the appropriate support for first home buyers.
Initially, the Ministry will be set up by moving functions across from existing agencies, and look at utilising funding from their existing operational budgets:
- From the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment: the housing and urban policy functions, the KiwiBuild Unit and the Community Housing Regulatory Authority.
- From the Ministry of Social Development: policy for emergency, transitional and public housing.
- From the Treasury: monitoring of Housing New Zealand (HNZ) and Tāmaki Redevelopment Company (TRC).
The changes won’t affect where people go to for help with housing. The Ministry of Social Development will continue to assess people’s need for housing support and manage the public housing register.
Phil Twyford said the new Ministry will provide the Government with strong leadership and fresh thinking. It would also end the fragmented current approach caused by involving a number of agencies.
The Government is:
- Ramping up efforts to house the homeless
- Building affordable homes through KiwiBuild
- Modernising and building more public housing
- Reforming the tenancy laws to make life better for renters
- Setting minimum standards to make rentals warm and dry
- Adjusting the tax settings to discourage speculation
- Setting up an Urban Development Authority to lead large scale urban development projects
“The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development will help us deliver our bold and ambitious plan to build much-needed affordable housing, and create modern and liveable cities ready for the future,” Phil Twyford says.