This report provides the findings of tenants participating in the Assistance to Housing Independence programme. The purpose of the analysis was to track the pathways of tenants to housing independence, assess the effectiveness of the programme, and note lessons learned.
The aims of the analysis are to:
- track tenant progress through the pathway to housing independence
- assess the incentives in assisting tenants to move.
The target population consists of tenants who are under-utilising their property or paying market rent for state housing, and living in either Auckland, Hamilton, Hawkes Bay or Wellington. These criteria were used to identify tenants who the Corporation believed would benefit from achieving housing independence or moving to a smaller state house.
The Assistance to Housing Independence (AHI) programme began in September 2011. The programme required AHI Advisors to contact tenants who met the following criteria:
- under-utilising a state house or
- paying market rent, and
- reside in Auckland (including East Auckland which was not included in the test phase), Hamilton, Hawkes Bay (including Napier which was not included in the test phase) or Wellington (which was not included in the test phase).
Contacted tenants who agreed to be a part of the AHI programme were visited by an AHI Advisor. This Advisor discussed with tenants the programme, housing aspirations, and any interest associated with moving to a more suitable state house or to another housing option.
During the visit, AHI Advisors obtained formal confirmation from tenants who made the choice to participate in the AHI programme by having them complete a consent form. They also requested tenants to identify the stage that they considered themselves to be at on the pathway to housing independence10. This initial point enables pathway movement to be measured.
Enrolment into the AHI programme commenced when AHI Advisors entered tenant details into the Housing Action Plan. This was after the home visit and a consent form has been completed.
AHI Advisors continued to maintain contact with tenants in the programme to provide support, assistance when required and incentives to stay motivated.
Regular contact enabled AHI Advisors to record and monitors the progress of tenants along the pathway to housing independence while providing tailored assistance to maximise the likelihood of tenants reaching housing independence.
A Housing Action Plan (HAP) was the main tool used to record actions to which both Housing New Zealand staff and tenants agreed to in the AHI programme.
Any changes to the pathway status of tenants or assistance provided to tenants for the AHI programme is captured in RENTEL. This enabled movement to be measured along the pathway to housing independence, regardless of direction.
The analysis covers the records of tenants who agreed to be a part of the Assistance to Housing independence programme from September 2011 to the programme closure in June 2012.
Tenants have the opportunity to opt out of the AHI programme at any stage without question.
Tenants who began the journey on the pathway to housing independence but chose later to no longer be a part of the AHI programme have opted out.
The desired outcomes is to have tenants:
- moving in a positive direction along the pathway of housing independence
- moved to a non-state house
- moved to a smaller state house.
Five hundred and seventy tenants agreed to participate in the Assistance to Housing Independence (AHI) programme.
Most tenants who agreed to participate were motivated to start or were already on the journey to housing independence when approached to be a part of the AHI programme.
Fifty-eight percent of tenants in the AHI programme were under-utilisers1 while 41 percent were market renters.
Under-utilisers were more likely than market renters to opt out of the AHI programme after making an initial agreement.
Seventy-eight percent of tenants chose to remain in the AHI programme and not opt out after initially agreeing to participate.
One in eight tenants in the AHI programme achieved housing independence.
Most tenants who remained in the AHI programme progressed from their initial point on the pathway to somewhere else on the pathway to housing independence.
The AHI programme was successful at helping tenants to:
- progress along the pathway to housing independence
- moving some tenants to smaller state housing or non-state housing.