Policy and Regulatory Committee



20 March 2019




Order Paper for the meeting to be held in the

Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt,







Monday 25 March 2019 commencing at 5.30pm









Cr MJ Cousins (Chair)

Cr S Edwards (Deputy Chair)



Deputy Mayor D Bassett

Cr L Bridson

Cr C Barry

Cr J Briggs

Cr T Lewis

Cr M Lulich

Cr C Milne

Cr L Sutton

Mayor W R Wallace (ex-officio)








For the dates and times of Council Meetings please visit





Membership:                    11


Meeting Cycle:                  Meets on a six weekly basis, as required or at the
requisition of the Chair


Quorum:                           Half of the members


Membership Hearings:     Minimum of either 3 or 4 elected members (including the Chair) and alternates who have current certification under the Making Good Decisions Training, Assessment and Certification Programme for RMA Decision-Makers.  The inclusion of an independent Commissioner as the rule rather than the exception


Reports to:                       Council



           To assist the Council monitor the development of strategies and policy that meet the current and future needs of communities for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions in a way that is most cost-effective for households and businesses. 

           To consider matters relating to the regulatory and quasi-judicial responsibilities of the Council under legislation.  This includes, without limitation, matters under the RMA including the hearing of resource management applications.


           Maintain an overview of work programmes carried out by the Council's Environmental Consents, Regulatory Services and strategy and policy development activities.

           Draft policies for public consultation, excluding those that will subsequently be required to follow a statutory process

           Approval and forwarding of submissions on matters related to the Committee’s area of responsibility

           Hearing and deciding notified resource consent applications.

           Hearing and deciding objections to conditions imposed on resource consents

           Hearing and deciding any matter notified under the Local Government Act 2002

           Hearing and deciding objections to the classification of dangerous dogs under section 31 of the Dog Control Act 1996 and abatement notices regarding barking dogs under section 55 of that Act

           Hearing and deciding objections to the classification of dogs as menacing dogs under sections 33A and 33C of the Dog Control Act 1996

           Hearing objections to specified traffic matters where the community board wishes to take an advocacy role

           Exercising the power of waiver under section 42A (4) of the Resource Management Act of the requirement to provide parties with copies of written reports prior to hearings

           Authorising the submission of appeals to the Environment Court on behalf of Council

           To appoint a subcommittee of suitably qualified persons to conduct hearings on behalf of the Committee.  The Chair of the Policy and Regulatory Committee is also delegated this function.

           All statutory requirements under the Reserves Act 1977 that require the Department of Conservation to ratify.






Conduct of Hearings:

           To conduct hearings where these are required as part of a statutory process[1]

           Hearing of submissions required on any matters falling under the Terms of Reference for this committee or delegating to a panel to undertake hearings (this delegation is also held by the Chair of the Policy and Regulatory Committee).



Any other matters delegated to the Committee by Council in accordance with approved policies and bylaws.



The Ministry for the Environment advocates that Councils offer specialist RMA training in areas of law which are difficult to grasp or where mistakes are commonly made.  This is to complement the Good Decision Making RMA training that they run (which is an overview and basic summary of decision making, rather than an in-depth training in specific areas of the RMA).  Therefore in order to facilitate this, the RMA training run for councillors that wish to be hearings commissioners is mandatory.

Reasons for the importance of the training:

1       Hearings commissioners are kept abreast of developments in the legislation.

2       Legal and technical errors that have been made previously are avoided (many of which have resulted in Environment Court action which is costly, time consuming and often creates unrealistic expectations for the community).

3       The reputation of Council as good and fair decision makers or judges (rather than legislators) is upheld.









Policy and Regulatory Committee


Meeting to be held in the Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt on

 Monday 25 March 2019 commencing at 5.30pm.




Public Business


1.       APOLOGIES 

There were no apologies


Generally up to 30 minutes is set aside for public comment (three minutes per speaker on items appearing on the agenda). Speakers may be asked questions on the matters they raise.       


4.       Recommendation to Council – 26 March 2019

Homelessness - Council Contribution to Improving the Response to Homelessness in Lower Hutt (19/278)

Report No. PRC2019/1/50 by the Principal Research and Policy Advisor         6

Chair’s Recommendation:

That the recommendations contained in the report be endorsed and a new part be added as follows: (vi) forwards the matter to the Community Plan Committee on 5 June 2019 for its consideration.


5.          QUESTIONS

With reference to section 32 of Standing Orders, before putting a question a member shall endeavour to obtain the information. Questions shall be concise and in writing and handed to the Chair prior to the commencement of the meeting.   




Judy Randall


                                                                                      17                                                         25 March 2019

Policy and Regulatory Committee

06 March 2019




File: (19/278)





Report no: PRC2019/1/50


Homelessness - Council Contribution to Improving the Response to Homelessness in Lower Hutt


Purpose of Report

1.    To report the results of the consultation conducted on the strategic approach to homelessness in the city.

2.    Seek agreement to the proposals for the resourcing and implementation of the action plan to achieve the aim and priorities of the Lower Hutt Homelessness Strategy.


That the Committee recommends that Council:

(i)    agrees the proposed strategic approach to homelessness in the city. This includes changing the wording of priority five from ‘Improving data on homelessness in Lower Hutt’ to ‘Improving the understanding of homelessness in Lower Hutt’;

(ii)   agrees the three-year funding proposal in option one to contribute to implementing the Lower Hutt Homelessness Strategy, of Year One: $560,000; Year two: $520,000; and Year three: $520,000;

(iii)  agrees to review the action plan attached as Appendix 1 after the initial three-year period with further funding considered as part of the Long Term Plan;

(iv) agrees to work with partners to implement the initial action plan for the strategy; and

(v)  agrees that Council participates in the Governance of Housing First in the Hutt Valley and Wellington along with partners including Iwi, non-governmental organisations, local government  and central Government.

For the reason that consultation supported the strategic direction agreed by Council in December 2018. The amended wording of priority five reflects that, as well as improving the data, we need to raise the understanding of causes, the impacts, households affected, in order to more effectively target homelessness.

Our recommended option aligns strongly with the findings from the research in terms of the service gaps, lack of access to settled accommodation – and therefore high use of temporary and unsuitable accommodation – and the lack of capacity to respond to the needs of people who are at risk of homelessness or who are experiencing homelessness. The option includes the three elements of contributing to increased access to housing, preventing homelessness, and advice and advocacy.

We will work with partners to implement and monitor the actions and a review of the plan will enable Council to consider longer-term funding as part of its next Long Term Plan.

The Housing First Governance Group being established by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides an opportunity for Council – through the Mayor – to work in partnership with Government, Iwi, and non-governmental organisations on homelessness responses at a regional level, both in terms of Housing First and broader solutions.



3.    The strategy for working together to end homelessness in Lower Hutt sets out an approach to prevent homelessness whenever possible and to ensure that if homelessness occurs it should be rare, brief, and non-recurring. Council led the development of the strategy and has agreed to work with its partners in the city and region to improve the response to homelessness.

4.    Council’s research demonstrated that homelessness affects a wide range of households. There are families with children, young people, older people, couples, and single person households who are homeless in the city. Homelessness means households are living in a range of insecure and unsafe circumstances, including households sleeping rough or in cars, households moving between friends, whānau, and acquaintances, and families living in hotels or temporary accommodation.

5.    Lack of suitable housing is the major structural reason for homelessness. The indications are that homelessness and housing hardship is likely to continue and increase in Lower Hutt in the short-term. There is a limited supply of affordable homes and making a considerable difference on this aspect is expected by many to take around three to five years. Pressure on rented housing is therefore likely to continue. As well as increasing housing supply, actions are required to improve the response to immediate needs during this period.

6.    Council is continuing work to improve the supply of housing in the city. Officers have begun work on a Housing Strategy for Lower Hutt which will explore ways of delivering a range of supply, including for households at lower income levels. This work will include looking at Council’s own housing stock and its future role in housing. We have commissioned a housing needs analysis which will inform this work, as well as the discussions that Council is having with Housing New Zealand and Government on housing supply in the city.

7.    Council’s intensification plans also seek to increase supply and increase the type of housing available to households in the city. Plan Change 43 that is proposed to enable intensification in areas of the city is crucial in delivering a more diverse housing stock.

Consultation on Council’s Strategic Approach

8.    Following Council’s agreement to the strategic approach to homelessness, and in-line with Council’s second resolution at the meeting held on 11 December 2018, officers have consulted on the proposed approach. The consultation has included:

·      a Public Voice Survey on the vision, principles, and priorities; and

·      hui and other meetings with partners and individuals.

Key findings from the survey

9.    1165 survey responses were received. There were 1,041 completed responses and 124 partially completed responses.

10.  ‘Working together to end homelessness’ – 82 percent of respondents agreed with Council’s vision statement. 43 agreed with the statement and 39 percent strongly agreed with the statement.

Strategy principles

87 percent of respondents agreed with Council’s principle ‘Housing is a basic human right’.

87 percent of respondents agreed with Council’s principle ‘Collaborative action’.

79 percent of respondents agreed with Council’s principle ‘Person centred’.

76 percent of respondents agreed with Council’s principle ‘Culturally appropriate.

Strategic priorities

90 percent of respondents agreed with Council’s priority ‘Continue to improve our understanding of homelessness in Lower Hutt’.

90 percent of respondents agreed with Council’s priority ‘End rough sleeping’.

89 percent of respondents agreed with Council’s priority ‘Continue to improve supply of accommodation and support.

88 percent of respondents agreed with Council’s priority ‘Preventing homelessness’.

85 percent of respondents agreed with Council’s priority ‘Increasing supply of affordable homes to rent and buy’.

11.  Comments on the survey included a focus on structural solutions to homelessness i.e., the issue of housing supply and particularly the supply of affordable housing in the city. As well as collaborating with partner agencies to resolve homelessness, a key action which respondents identified for Council was taking action to help build affordable housing in the city. Full survey results are in Appendix 2.

Additional points from the consultation

12.  Participants in a range of roles have questioned how Urban Plus Ltd. (UPL) fits into both responding to homelessness and Council’s response to housing supply. There is a lack of understanding about the roles of UPL as landlord and developer, the remit of its stock, and any future plans for increasing the housing stock. Particular points have included that Council should be directly involved in providing public housing with a wider remit given the needs of whānau in the city.

13.  The need for Council to be actively involved in facilitating the building of, or directly providing, more affordable housing has been raised regularly.

14.  As a result of the consultation we do not propose any major changes to the strategic approach agreed by Council in December 2018 and will finalise the strategy document.

15.  We are proposing to change the title of priority five which is currently ‘Improving data on homelessness in Lower Hutt’ to ‘Improving the understanding of homelessness in Lower Hutt’. This change reflects that, as well as improving the data, we need to raise the understanding of causes, the impacts, and households affected, in order to more effectively target homelessness.

Action plan

16.  The initial action plan sets out a timetable and seeks to improve the effectiveness of the response to homelessness over a three-year period. The options presented to Council in this paper identify roles for Council in contributing to the response. These options include Council funding, influencing and advocacy, and taking a governance and leadership role on homelessness and housing. The current action plan is in Appendix 1.

Implementation of the action plan

17.  In terms of the funding options being presented to Council, Officers have undertaken work to develop and discuss the actions and costs with non-governmental partners or, in the case of the housing advice action, have based costs on an advice unit already operating in Palmerston North. This work provides a clear basis for finalising discussions with partners and implementing these actions later in 2019, with funding available from 1 July 2019.

18.  In terms of the broader action plan, Council will establish an implementation group with partner agencies to begin implementation.

19.  For the implementation group we would seek representation from agencies in the community and strategy partners, including Marae, District Health Board, Regional Public Health Council, and so forth, to take forward actions to deliver the strategy.  Given the significant proportion of Māori amongst those who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness it is important that delivery of the strategy is culturally appropriate. In order to ensure the strategy is implemented in a way that aligns with this principle we will seek strong Māori representation, including from Housing First providers. It is recommended that this group also include members who have a lived experience of homelessness.  

20.  This would be an operational level group and could report on progress to the Hutt Valley Governance Group (HVGG) and the Housing First Governance Group (HFGG). Officers understand that HFGG is likely to deal with broader homelessness issues and, with a regional view of homelessness provision, would be a good group to which to report.

21.  We are currently suggesting that the implementation group would be serviced by Hutt City Council in a similar approach to servicing HVGG i.e., Council officers contributing to progressing actions and coordinating actions. As the homelessness strategy has been developed as a city rather than as a Council only approach the action plan requires considerable input and engagement from external agencies. We may explore future funding in order to coordinate delivery of the action plan.

22.  The implementation group will monitor progress against the action plan.  We will also continue to work with partners to improve the data on homelessness in Lower Hutt.  Council funded actions will be included in regular reports on outcomes and how the action is progressing. 

Rationale for Council action

23.  Both data and reports from agencies indicate that Lower Hutt has a growing homelessness and housing hardship issue, with a consensus that needs are likely to remain high at least in the next three to five year period. Council’s research and engagement identified that homelessness was increasing in the city and that people were remaining homeless for extended periods.

24.  In line with the leadership Council demonstrated in developing the strategy, Council needs to consider its contribution to the practical delivery of the strategy.

25.  Alongside the action plan in partnership with organisations in the city, government, and councils in the region, we are proposing a direct funding contribution from Council to deliver actions in the plan.

26.  Council does not currently provide financial support for agencies that are assisting residents of the city experiencing homelessness and housing hardship. The role and funding suggested is similar to what other councils are doing, in terms of increasing capacity of the local non-governmental sector, providing ongoing leadership, and working in partnership. The funding would assist Council to achieve the priorities of the homelessness strategy and also help achieve overall Council aims and outcomes including “empowering brighter futures for those most in need in the city” and achieving Council’s aims that Lower Hutt is a safe and healthy city in which all residents can prosper in strong and inclusive communities.

27.  By instigating the strategy and action plan, Council has indicated that it sees itself contributing to addressing homelessness in ways beyond business as usual and in response to the needs indicated in the research.

28.  Contributing to effectively responding to homelessness is also in line with the new wellbeing agenda and working alongside government for better social, educational and economic outcomes. Resolving homelessness and increasing housing supply are high priorities for government and augmenting government’s work as well as influencing its direction, and will be key in building better local communities. Council has already signalled to government and the community that it is keen to work in partnership and determined to work together and across portfolio boundaries, to address homelessness and housing supply.

29.  Partners such as Housing New Zealand (HNZ) are also responding to need for their stock and the prevention of homelessness. HNZ now has intensive tenancy mangers that identify households whose tenancies are at risk, and who will bring in support to help sustain those tenancies. They have strengthened this service by employing housing navigators who help map the available support services available. Essentially HNZ is taking a broader approach to its role as a landlord.

30.  The thrust of Council’s strategic approach is to prevent homelessness. In this respect, the options proposed for Council to consider aim to improve homelessness prevention in Lower Hutt. The main elements in the options are to:

·      increase access to housing;

·      support households at risk of homelessness to maintain accommodation; and

·      provide access to housing advice and advocacy.

Research and evaluation of prevention programmes indicate that these elements work well as part of a proactive, as opposed to a reactive, approach to homelessness. (Pawson et. al., Evaluating Homelessness Prevention)

31.  A partnership approach is required to respond effectively to homelessness, with Council adding value to, rather than duplicating, the role of central government and the expertise of non-governmental organisations.

32.  Option one is our recommended option. It aligns strongly with the findings from the research in terms of the service gaps, lack of access to settled accommodation – and therefore high use of temporary and unsuitable accommodation – and the lack of capacity to respond to the needs of people who are at risk of homelessness or who are experiencing homelessness.

33.  The option includes the three elements of contributing to increased access to housing, preventing homelessness, and advice and advocacy. Rather than focus on temporary solutions – although we will support government to find more suitable temporary accommodation in place of motels – we focus on trying to improve access to settled accommodation and preventing homelessness.

34.  The prevention action referred to in options one and two requires some further discussion between LinkPeople, Strategy and Planning officers, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, to ensure the most effective implementation.

35.  Option two includes contributing to increased access to housing and preventing homelessness. Option three includes contributing to increased access to housing and there is greater focus on providing advice and advocacy in this option with Council funding at a higher level in years one and two while still seeking partnership funding to continue the service.

36.  Options one to three also include the business as usual actions that Council is already well-placed to do e.g. strengthening its role of influencing and advocating for further housing supply and improved government response to homelessness.

Key elements of the options include:

Access to private rented accommodation with support

37.  The impact of enhancing access to the private rental sector will be both to provide people with homes and, if needed, support to sustain their accommodation. The approach aims to provide settled and suitable homes so that households are not faced with the insecurity of temporary accommodation and the costs of this both economically and in terms of health and well-being. This action corresponds to action one in the action plan and aligns with the priorities of preventing homelessness, improving the supply of suitable accommodation, and increasing the supply of affordable homes.

38.  Interventions that seek to increase access to settled accommodation for homeless households operate in New Zealand and internationally. Key elements of the models include building a relationship with landlords and investors to access housing, provide owners with a free tenancy management service, guaranteed rent, support for the tenant and guarantees against damage.

39.  This action increases the staff capacity of a local Non-Government Organisation (NGO) to let properties to households that are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and that have difficulty competing for tenancies. The NGO has a good record of building relationships with investors and is growing its access to housing. To be able to effectively manage more properties and support households, it needs additional capacity.

40.  This action is essentially a partnership between a local organisation – as well as other support providers – with expertise of responding to homelessness, private investors with a social motivation, and Council, which will enable households to access settled accommodation in the city.

41.  In the current housing environment, working to improve access to private rental homes can make an important contribution to housing supply for households that have largely been excluded from the private rental market. This market is very competitive and families on lower incomes or who have higher social needs are unable to compete and therefore unable to secure this accommodation.

42.  Both research and practice show that schemes working with owners can increase the supply of homes available to families. Research by Sheffield Hallam University into the private rental sector and accessing it for homeless households showed that over half of landlords who had rented to vulnerable households only did so through these types of schemes. Half of homeless households said they would not have tenancies without such schemes and a further 25 per cent said accessing accommodation would have been very difficult. (Source: Reeve, Kesia, Cole, Ian, Batty, Elaine, Foden, Michael, Green, Stephen and Pattison, Ben (2016). Home: no less will do - homeless people's access to the private rented sector.)

43.  In New Zealand, the national organisation LinkPeople notes that 70 per cent of the households they house are through these private rental schemes, with 30 per cent placed in social housing.

Prevention of homelessness

44.  A clearly identified issue in the initial research is that the high demand for services means that support agencies do not have the capacity to focus on preventing homelessness and instead must take a reactive approach. The aim of this action is to avoid the negative impacts of homelessness on individuals, their whānau and the community. Preventing homelessness avoids the social costs of displacing families as well as reducing economic costs.

45.  This element of the options will provide capacity for an NGO to work with individuals and whānau who are at risk of becoming homeless without early intervention. In options one and two, it aims to prevent homelessness for a minimum of 100 households per year. The focus is on targeting households – mainly families with children – that are at risk of homelessness and providing support to ensure that they do not lose their accommodation. The service will link whānau to the services and support in the community that may help resolve their challenges. The cost includes a ‘flexi fund’ that can be used to help resolve threats to the tenancy, whether it is paying off a small debt, help with maintenance, or purchasing items that cannot be accessed through other services. This action fits with MBIE’s Tenancy Services Better Housing Outcomes programme and there is a possibility of working in partnership with the Ministry in this respect.

46. Preventing homelessness is the focus of homelessness strategies at local and national levels in New Zealand and internationally. There are a range of costs incurred when households become homeless e.g. the direct costs of emergency housing; costs to the household and the insecurity of the situation; children moving schools; moving between health services; and the impact on individual and household health and well-being, employment, and family relationships. Research by the University of Otago indicates that the cost of someone being homeless in New Zealand for a year is $65,000. This includes emergency housing costs, mental health services and so forth. During the September quarter of 2018, the average cost just to place one homeless household from Lower Hutt in hotel accommodation was $5,600.

Housing advice and advocacy

47.  Housing advice and advocacy is a key component of interventions to prevent homelessness. It provides households with the information, advice and advocacy they need to help address their housing or homelessness issues or prevent households becoming homeless. Elements of advice services include:

·     housing advice to empower clients to take action themselves or through referrals to other organisations;

·     prevention of homelessness through direct intervention; and

·     assistance to clients to secure accommodation.

48.  The lack of housing advice and advocacy is a clear finding from the research and engagement undertaken. Non-housing organisations spend considerable time dealing with housing issues prior to being able to assist people with their core work e.g. support to access training, education, employment, or improving health and well-being. 

49.  The proposed action is based on the model of Palmerston North Housing Advice Centre. This is a not-for-profit organisation which offers housing advice, advocacy and tenant enquiries. The centre works with a range of people including those with complex needs who are seeking housing in a very difficult rental market. They help people to identify the barriers to accessing rental accommodation and help with ways to overcome them.

50.  Our costing for this action is based on the costs for 2017-2018, however with a slight increase in order to enable their two staff members to be on at the same time both for staff safety and to increase their capacity to act as an advocate when needed. The centre currently has two part time staff members who collectively work 41 hours a week, and with this capacity they helped 1,890 households directly and 37,966 indirectly e.g. access through their website or Facebook. This action begins with Council funding initially but we will look for partnership funding to increase the capacity and capability of the service.

51.  This action will require further specific work to determine the location of the service and possible host organisation. As we are proposing that Council fund this action, this work will be done by officers in conjunction with the implementation group. The group will continue to engage with community working in this area to ensure the advice and advocacy is delivered from accessible locations and in the most appropriate manner for those using it.

Additionally, as part of implementing the action plan Council would support:


Housing First

52.  Council will support government and partners with Housing First – an intervention which will address street homeless households, who are amongst the most socially excluded in the city. We recommend that Council supports government and partners in delivering Housing First through the planned Governance Group, and continues to explore means of supporting the work to end rough sleeping with Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and the partners delivering both programmes as they are implemented in the city.

53.  The two Housing First proposals, made respectively by a collective of agencies led by The Downtown Community Ministry and Kahungunu Ki Poneke, are at different stages of development. The collective’s proposal has been submitted and we understand that delivery in Wellington City is expected to begin in May 2019. We do not know when the service will be extended to Lower Hutt or the Hutt Valley. Kahungunu Ki Poneke’s Housing First service is also expected later in 2019.  

54.  We are exploring how we can support the providers in practice e.g. through supporting the identification of housing supply which could include UPL if Council agrees to this in the future, and assisting providers with locations from which to work and so forth.

Influencing and advocacy

55.  As part of the action plan Council will also continue to strengthen its key role of influencing central government to improve housing supply in the city as well as services for households who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Understanding homelessness

56.  Improving data on homelessness and housing hardship in the city. This includes the quality of the data and information available on the use of transitional housing, length of stay, move-on information and so forth. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is also conducting work to understand the information and research required to help target homelessness services. Officers are meeting the Ministry to discuss this work further.

Emergency provision over winter/spring 2019

57.  This action is being progressed in recognition that Housing First will not be operating in Lower Hutt before this winter, and that our whānau who are currently sleeping rough need an alternative in the interim.

58.  As a temporary measure, we are looking at using the cricket pavilion at Fraser Park. This is currently being led by our Community Services team with support from officers in Strategy and Planning and is covered by existing money.

59.  Although a night shelter type option is not in line with our strategic priorities or the Housing First approach, following advice from those working directly with people who are sleeping rough and people with lived experience, it is required for some people in the current situation.

60.  To be viable, the facility will need staff with relevant expertise to provide support. We are currently exploring this with the Salvation Army. People using the facility would also be linked to other support, e.g. mental health providers and housing support.


Option 1

Year One: $560,000; Year two: $520,000; and Year three: $520,000

·    Access to private rented accommodation with support = $110,000 (three years).

·    Prevention of homelessness – project working with a minimum of 100 at-risk households per year = $370,000 (three years).

·    Provide housing advice and advocacy = $80,000 in the first year, $40,000 in year two and three. Council will also explore support in terms of office location e.g. in a Community House, if required, as well as IT and hardware support.

·    The funding decrease is dependent on securing partnership funding. If this funding cannot be secured, funding for year two will remain at $80,000 to allow further work to seek partnership funding.

Option one is the recommended option.

Option 2

Years one, two and three: $480,000 per year.

·    Access to private rented accommodation with support = $110,000 (three years).

·    Prevention of homelessness – project working with a minimum of 100 at-risk households per year = $370,000 (three years).

Option 3

Year one: $310,000; Year two: $310,000; and Year three: $220,000.

·    Access to private rented accommodation with support = $110,000 (three years).

·    Provide housing advice and advocacy = $200,000 in year one and two, and $100,000 in year three. Council will also explore support in terms of office location e.g. in a Community House if required, as well as IT and hardware support.


Option 4

·    Status Quo. Continue to use Council’s levers and networks to: influence and advocate for improved responses to homelessness and explore process barriers.

Business as usual actions to accompany all of the options set out below, include:

·    Explore policy approaches to incentivise delivery of affordable housing in the city e.g. development contributions.

·    Explore Council’s consents processes to review possible barriers to developing affordable housing.

·    Focus on the supply of affordable homes – through housing strategy, plan change 43, and actions from the housing strategy that aim to increase the supply of affordable homes.


61.  Consultation is not applicable.

Financial Considerations

62.  Financial considerations are included within the report.

Other Considerations

63.  In making this recommendation, officers have given careful consideration to the purpose of local government in section 10 of the Local Government Act 2002. Officers believe that this recommendation falls within the purpose of local government in that it responds to Council’s direction to officers to develop a Homelessness Strategy to address homelessness issues in the city. It does this in a way that is cost-effective because it recommends actions Council can take that consider Council’s budgetary constraints.






Action plan



Consultation survey



 Author: John Pritchard

Principal Research and Policy Advisor


Author: Olivia Miller

Policy Advisor




Reviewed By: Wendy Moore

Divisional Manager, Strategy and Planning


Approved By: Tony Stallinger

Chief Executive  

Attachment 1

Action plan


Working together to end homelessness

Initial three year action plan

Strategic priorities


1.   Preventing homelessness


2.   Improving the supply of suitable accommodation and support for people experiencing homelessness


3.   Ending rough sleeping  - help people who are street homeless or living in their cars move into and retain settled accommodation


4.   Increasing the supply of affordable homes to rent and buy


5.   Improving data on homelessness and housing in Lower Hutt



Action no.

Current situation


Council’s role 

Partner/ partner’s role


Priority alignment


Lack of access to housing, particularly social and private rented housing

Access to rented homes: support to  attain and sustain accommodation in the private rental sector

Funding service contract

Tuatahi Trust: Provide homes and support for approximately 50 additional households per year


Central govt. contribute to funding

April/May 2019 – for a three year period

1 and 2


Families and households are becoming homeless as a result of unmet support needs and lack of preventative intervention.

Intervene early to prevent homelessness for families in Lower Hutt

Funding service contract

LinkPeople - Prevent homelessness for 100 households per annum


Possible joint working with Ministry of Housing and Urban Development / Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

3 years



Not enough suitable temporary options for whanau becoming homeless, leading to high use of motels/hotels.

Identify suitable potential sites/buildings for temporary accommodation with support in the city.

Identifying opportunities for accommodation. Could include buildings, camping grounds, and negotiating with providers initially.


Housing and Urban Development (HUD)/NGOs/Developers: provide accommodation


NGOs: provide support



2 and 4


People, who are already very vulnerable, are sleeping rough. They are living in dangerous situations where their health and wellbeing is at risk

Government funded Housing First programme to target support at ending street homelessness

Governance - Mayor to be on homelessness governance group


Consider contributory future funding when delivery details are clear.


Consider providing a location for Housing First providers to provide support from in Lower Hutt

Kahungunu Ki Poneke


Downtown Community Ministry and Collective:


Both programmes will identify housing and support households to retain accommodation


HUD: Funding

2 years initially

3 and 2


Strengthen existing services to provide practical support to people prior to Housing First implementation.



Explore further funding/partnership funding

NGOs: Service provision

Six months to 1 year initially



Investigate using Council facilities for emergency accommodation over winter and spring 2019  – with links into other services and support for people accessing the facility


Provide location e.g. Cricket pavilion at Fraser Park.

NGOs: Service provision

5-6 months

2 and 3



Explore use of UPL properties for in Housing First situations – depending on council direction to UPL

Discuss using 3 to 4 units with UPL

Support provision for tenants




Lack of increase in UPL supply during recent years.

As part of its Housing Strategy Council will consider its role in public housing through UPL or other delivery models

Consider future options for Council’s housing stock 





Age criteria preventing whanau with high health needs from accessing Council properties

Urban Plus to review its allocation policy. And then provide an explicit explanation on its website of its allocation policy


Assist with policy review





Lack of housing advice and advocacy services available to people who are homeless, in housing hardship, or at risk of homelessness. This leads to whānau not receiving the support to which they are entitled

Increase the availability of housing advice and advocacy.



NGOs: Service provision


Funding support from other organisations

3 years initially

1 and 3


Households not receiving assistance or the correct assistance

Work with MSD/WINZ and agencies to improve quality of services.

HCC to use its relationships at HVGG and through other channels. Use case examples to influence service improvement

Provide case studies and evidence




Influence government housing policy and approach to homelessness in Lower Hutt e.g. capacity of accommodation, support provision, rental costs

HCC’s direct channels to government officers, Housing First Governance Group, Hutt Valley Governance Group participation.






Perception that HNZ is not doing enough to address housing supply

Advocate to HNZ to make effective use of their current supply and to increase supply provision.

Influence and advocacy





No support for households placed in motel accommodation through Emergency Housing Special Needs Grants

Provide support to homeless households via outreach nurse visits.

Support Regional Public Health

RPH/DHB – to consider resourcing.

A partnership between health provider, Council, MSD, Whānau Ora to ensure the physical and social environments of motel accommodation is appropriate and the health needs of households are addressed.





Motels/ hotels increasingly being used to as emergency accommodation but with little advice or support given to the owners/workers

Assist Government to ensure that hotels used to accommodate people who are homeless are fit for purpose.

Influence and advocacy


RPH is considering its role in this action.




People losing HNZ tenancies and becoming homeless

Intensive tenancy management support to help people retain their tenancies and address issues which could result in eviction


NGOs – provide additional support




Hoarding can mean people becoming homeless because their houses are uninhabitable

Provide assistance/ support to help people address issues and clear houses

Support funding applications led by Regional Public Health


Assistance from Environmental Health Officers

Regional Public Health housing team: Service/ support provision, seeking funding

3 years

1 and 2


Lack of access to information and advice in community locations in the city.

Deliver advice services in accessible community locations




Explore providing space in Libraries, hubs, community houses.

NGOs and relevant govt. departments: Delivery of advice services




Whānau and individuals are becoming homeless when they leave an abusive home – have nowhere safe and suitable to go

Secondary prevention- work with perpetrators of family harm to prevent it from occurring/behavioural change -and creating safe and healthy homes and relationships  

Consider opportunities for Safer Hutt Valley group to work on this 

Consider support through providing  a location to deliver service

Support funding proposals

NGO’s that provide family harm support/ have this expertise: support

2-3 years



Rangatahi unable to live with their whanau can find it very difficult to access the PRS - which can result in them staying in unsafe and destructive environments

Transitional youth home with support



Relevant Ministries – funding

NGO - support



1, 2, 3







Action no.

Current Situation


Council’s Role

Partner / Partner role


Priority alignment


The stigma of homelessness and discrimination against people of particular backgrounds leads to a range of  consequences, including people not being housed

Positive communications – case studies, voices for people who are or have been homeless, media

Communications capacity and networks

NGOs – provide case-studies, issues, success stories etc.

District Health Board (DHB)/Corrections etc.: funding and resources/ networks




People experiencing mental health conditions are particularly vulnerable to homelessness

District Health Board – Link People programme to access accommodation for people leaving Te Whare Ahuru

Support funding proposals.

Link People: Service provision

DHB: funding

2 years



People being discharged from hospital without having somewhere to live/stay

Improve hospital entrance/discharge policies to ensure peoples housing etc. issues are identified at an early stage.

Advocacy/support role


HNZ pilot current operating




Council processes being perceived as a barrier to people building affordable/public houses

Review internal processes for opportunities to improve generally and to support affordable housing developments e.g. interpretation of medium density design guide.



Process review









2 and 4


Low level of affordable homes being delivered in the city

Explore targeting development contributions specifically at developers of affordable homes

Investigation as part of Housing Strategy


Policy development


3 – 5 year period



People leaving prisons as homeless

Improve the process between prisons and release e.g. ability to register on HNZ list prior to release

Advocacy/support role

Corrections/ MSD/ MOJ/ HNZ




Action no.

Current situation


Council Role

Partner / Partner


Priority alignment


Lack of data and information on the sharp end of the problem.

Improve agency data collection capacity



Support - undefined

Support a local count if pursued by central government

NGOS and government




Lack of information on children and families, and others who are homeless

Improve data reporting on the needs presented and households presenting

Improve transitional housing data and access to the data.

Work with partners

NGOs and government




Lack of overall monitoring of homelessness in the city

Monitor actions against priorities in the strategy

Lead work on monitoring

NGOs and partners – contributing to monitoring and provide data from activities and actions.




Attachment 2

Consultation survey








































2 When acting in this capacity the committee has a quasi-judicial role.