This report details findings from a process evaluation of the Ready to Rent and Housing Broker initiatives. Both initiatives are designed to help clients, particularly those in emergency housing, transitional housing, or on the Public Housing Register, secure their own tenancy.
The overall purpose of the process evaluation was to confirm formally that the two initiatives are proving valuable, to understand whether they are being implemented as intended, and how they should be monitored in the future.
The evaluation employed a mixed-methods approach comprising a review of the literature, development of intervention logic models; semi-structured interviews, hui, fono, and focus groups, and outcomes framework workshops. Initially, it was intended that the administrative data be assessed for its capacity to monitor the services. It was found, however, that the data related more to the operations side of the service and as such did not provide much useful insight for the evaluation. As Māori and Pacific people make up the majority of those on the Public Housing Register, a Kaupapa Māori research approach was adopted by Māori researchers and a Fa’afaletui Pasefika research approach was used by the Pacific members of the team.
The intervention logic models (ILMs) were developed online and throughout the country with a selection of those who run the services, those who oversee them, and those who helped design them. Each service worked together to define the problem they were addressing, clarify their aims, set out the transformative processes that would accomplish those aims, and then set short-, medium- and long-term outcome goals. The ILMs were mapped into a one-page format after being checked with participants and MSD staff, and a consensual agreement was reached with each service.
The overall purpose of the evaluation was to formally confirm that the Ready to Rent and Housing Broker programmes were proving valuable and to understand whether they were being implemented as intended.
Based on the findings of this process evaluation of both initiatives, while improvements can be made, they are proving to be valuable for their clients. Their intent was to give people a better chance of securing tenancies and help more of them gain homes in the private rental market, and there were many reports of clients successfully doing so.
MSD was innovative in hiring housing brokers who were experienced in property management or who were landlords, and in contracting community organisations experienced in working with people in housing stress as Ready to Rent course providers. These providers have been particularly committed to establishing and maintaining good connections with clients and stakeholders.
The findings show both services have performed well, and providers and the Ministry can now take the opportunity to look at ways to improve the services further. There are cultural challenges in both programmes and while some services are deeply responsive to the cultural needs of their clients, others struggle. Internal processes between MSD and both
sets of providers also require attention. As the services have begun to take root, the providers are seeking greater support and improved communication from the Ministry.