More good news for low income renters was the decision by Housing Minister Phil Twyford to pause all tenancy reviews for people living in public housing, which are Housing NZ or community housing where an income-related rent subsidy (IRRS) is paid.

The introduction of tenancy reviews for almost all of those living in social housing has been a source of ongoing stress and insecurity for people who are already in very difficult life situations. Letters sent to tenants advising of reviews have often been misunderstood as threatening eviction. Yet the reality is that a very small proportion of the reviews have actually led to improvements or changes to tenancies. The majority of those living in Housing NZ and other IRRS rentals are there for the medium to long term and simply do not have other housing options.

Minister Twyford has made it clear he wants to make sure that all our most vulnerable groups of tenants are recognised and protected; they should not be asked to do a tenancy review.

“It is important that tenancy reviews involve those tenants who are ready to move towards more independence, not those who need the security of long term public housing.”