12 Sep 2011

Agency concerned over Housing NZ changes

3:36 pm on 12 September 2011

A housing advocate says more people will slip through the gaps as a result of changes to the way Housing New Zealand does business.

The changes include concentrating on just the provision of accommodation, and axing community renewal projects and 166 net jobs.

David Zussman from housing advocacy service Monte Cecilia says Housing New Zealand is best placed to intervene for families in need.

He says claims that other agencies will step into the breach are not credible as they are already under pressure.

Housing New Zealand chief executive Dr Lesley McTurk says they will still refer on to other agencies but their primary role is as landlord.

She says improved protocols will ensure no one falls through the cracks.

Dr McTurk says previous instances where staff cleaned up houses or drove tenants to the supermarket will no longer happen.