Tenancy reviews for social housing tenants

Why have tenancy reviews?

The Government wants social housing to be available for people and families most in need.

Tenancy reviews help make sure that people living in social housing still need it, and if they do, that the house continues to meet their needs.

It’s important that people who have benefited from social housing and whose situation has improved, are given the support to move into the private rental market or home ownership, if they’re able to.

Who will have their tenancy reviewed and when?

All social housing tenants, with a few exceptions, may be contacted for a tenancy review.

Only those tenants who live in a property modified for their needs (for example wheelchair access), who have agreed lifetime tenure with Housing New Zealand or who are 75 or older, won’t be selected for a tenancy review.

Tenants can expect to be contacted for a tenancy review every three years.

Who does tenancy reviews and how are they done?

Tenancy reviews are done by MSD’s Housing Assessment service. These are done with care and consider the household’s individual circumstances.

Tenancy reviews are based on much of the same information covered by the initial assessment of eligibility for social housing, including things such as:

  • accessibility – how difficult is it for the household to find accommodation in the private market? Are there personal or financial barriers that could stop this happening?
  • affordability – can the household afford to move into accommodation in the private rental market?
  • sustainability – can the household keep accommodation in the private market long term.

If a review finds that a tenant is no longer eligible for social housing and can move, MSD will work closely with them to help them make the move.

If a review finds that a tenant remains eligible, they’ll be able to stay in social housing.

There are several steps in the review process. When the time comes for a review, MSD will be in contact to explain how this will happen and what support MSD will provide.

If tenants don’t agree with the decision made about their eligibility for social housing they can ask for it to be reviewed.

If they don’t agree with the result of that review, the decision can be taken to an independent appeal authority.

How long is the review process?

A tenancy review will generally take about six months to complete or it could be longer depending on the tenant’s circumstances.

What should tenants do now?

Tenants don’t need to do anything now.

MSD will be in contact to discuss their tenancy review.

If tenants have not been contacted about a tenancy review but are interested in moving out of social housing, they should contact MSD to discuss their options and what financial assistance could be available to support a move into alternative housing.