Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Auckland leaders call for TAS extension

Auckland Mayor, Wayne Brown and Deputy Mayor, Desley Simpson, have written to the Government asking for an extension to temporary accommodation services and products.

Temporary Accommodation Services (TAS) and Temporary Accommodation Assistance (TAA) are set to finish at the end of next month.

The councillors have requested an extension to June 2025.

They are also seeking a review of the TAA eligibility criteria – specifically to homeowners with properties that are held in a trust.

In the letter, Mayor Brown states, “We are reaching out to bring attention to the ongoing challenges faced by displaced homeowners affected by the severe weather events of 2023. These events affected over 6,000 properties in Auckland, and approximately 1,000 households are still displaced.

“Currently, two government services and products, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and
Employment Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) and the Ministry of Social
Development Temporary Accommodation Assistance (TAA), are available to support
displaced homeowners, currently funded until June 2024. The weather events’ scale and
complexity mean that recovery efforts were always expected to extend well beyond June 2024.

“This is in line with global experience which acknowledges the inherently uncertain
and prolonged nature of recovery journeys.

“Our elected members have been in regular contact with impacted people in communities
across Auckland, hearing firsthand about the stress and anxiety they are enduring due to
their housing and financial predicaments following the storms.

“We ask that you consider extending TAS and TAA to June 2025 and review the TAA eligibility criteria. The pace of categorisation work has accelerated and Auckland’s progress is in line with other storm affected regions, however we expect categorisation will continue well into 2024.

“An extension to accommodation support is critical to ensure that all affected homeowners receive the necessary support throughout the property repair or buy-out process.

“While the recent TAA eligibility adjustments have expanded support to more homeowners,
nd this has been appreciated, it still falls short of effectively addressing the needs of displaced homeowners in Auckland. Specifically, homeowners with properties held in trusts who are still excluded from eligibility, despite facing similar challenges as other displaced homeowners.

“We ask for your consideration and a positive response to our requests for the extension of
TAS and TAA to June 2025, along with a revision of the eligibility criteria for TAA to include
Aucklanders whose properties are held in trusts. These measures are pivotal in providing
holistic support to displaced homeowners. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss
this further with you.”

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