Changes to housing criteria proposed

Eligibility for Dunedin City Council community housing will be in the spotlight this week as councillors consider a new draft policy.

People with a need for physically accessible housing are the big winners in the proposed changes, while eligibility criteria for the housing has been tightened to enforce limits on income and assets for applicants.

If the draft rules are voted through, people on the waiting list would be categorised in one of six priority groups, with highest priority given to those that are both aged 55 or older with an urgent need for housing and have a need for physically accessible housing.

The second group would cover those that are either 55 and up with an urgent housing need or who need physically accessible housing, but not both, while the third category covers those above 55 with a housing need that has not been classified as urgent.

The final three groups have similar criteria to the first three, except for those aged 54 and below.

Under the present rules, there were four priority groups, two of which did not disqualify applicants with income or assets over the set limits.

There are 284 people on the waiting list for council community housing in Dunedin under current rules, 164 of whom were ranked in priority group one.

The new rules would see the wait list fall to 252 people with 32 people no longer eligible for community housing under the new rules because they had income or assets above the caps allowed for in the draft policy.

If the draft policy is adopted, council staff will work with those no longer eligible for council community housing to refer them to other agencies.

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