700 Housing NZ tenants die during lease – forcing survivors out

Each year the death of around 700 social housing tenants ends the lease on their state house – at times forcing surviving family members to move out.

Several of these cases came to light in the media, including one in the Herald where a cancer patient and his family

 were told they had to move from their state home of 25 years a week after their mother had died.

Subsequently Housing New Zealand and the Ministry of Social Development took a look at how it managed tenancies, with surviving family members, after the death of the tenant holding the lease.

In a business alert sent to HNZ staff, released under the Official Information Act, it was revealed that after a number of cases were in the media HNZ identified 21 days was not enough time for the family’s housing needs to be assessed.

Together with MSD it had since developed a plan that would see it manage these tenancies in a manner that would offer more “robust support” for the family and consistent messages from both organisations.

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