About transitional housing  

Transitional housing is diverse. It includes new-builds, residential homes, re-purposed and long-term leased properties. Properties are sourced a number of ways, including buying and leasing properties from the private market, using service providers’ existing properties and building new properties.

You can see up-to-date information on transitional housing numbers on the Housing Dashboard. 

See the Housing Dashboard. 

Who transitional housing is for 

There are all sorts of reasons people might need transitional housing. Their rental property might have been sold, or they might have been staying with family but circumstances have changed and that’s no longer possible.  

People using the transitional housing service are helped to find longer-term housing. In most cases, once they have secured a longer-term home, service providers also help them access other support, including Work and Income services, budgeting advice and health services. 

Transitional housing and MAIHI

Māori are disproportionately affected by the housing crisis. Te MAIHI o te Whare Māori - Māori and Iwi Housing Innovation (MAIHI) is a framework and strategy, created by HUD in partnership with Māori, to reset the housing system so it delivers better solutions for Māori.  

MAIHI’s vision is that all whānau have: 

  • access to warm, dry and safe homes, with the security of being able to stay in them for as long as is appropriate for their circumstances 
  • connections to the services they need to be able to sustain their housing 
  • opportunities to fully participate in their communities.  

Providing transitional housing falls under one of MAIHI’s key workstreams, which is responding quickly to the immediate and urgent needs of whanau who are experiencing homelessness and housing stress. 

Read more about MAIHI. 

Emergency housing 

Transitional housing is not the same as emergency housing. Emergency housing is funded by Work and Income to help individual and whānau who can’t access transitional housing. The EHSNG pays for short-term accommodation for up to seven days at a time.

See more about emergency housing support from Work and Income(external link).   

Who pays for it

People living in transitional housing pay rent of up to 25 per cent of their income, in line with income-related rents for public housing and Emergency Housing Special Needs Grants. The rest of the costs are paid by Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga - Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. 

Who provides it

Approved social service providers manage transitional housing and are responsible for making sure the properties are warm, dry and well-maintained. 

 Guidelines and advice for providers of transitional housing and support services

The Operational Guidelines for Providers of Transitional Housing supports providers in delivering transitional housing and in meeting the requirements of their Services Agreement with HUD.

The Guidelines have been updated as of December 2023. The Guidelines supersede all previous versions. Changes have been made to include additional content relating to Housing Agreements, Security Deposits and the Independent Dispute Resolution Service. No new requirements have been added other than those relating to the dispute resolution service. Other changes relate only to making content more relevant and the Guidelines easier to read and use.

Updated Operational Guidelines for Providers of Transitional Housing (PDF, 732 KB)

The Transitional Housing Code of Practice  

The Transitional Housing code of practice came into effect on 1 July 2023, and sets out the expectations and standards for providers and households operating or in transitional housing.

These include setting expectations around healthy and safe housing, pleasant living environments, fair and transparent exit processes and issues management.

It comes into full effect from 1 December 2023, but once a household has signed a housing agreement with a provider, their rights will include:

  • warm, dry, clean, accessible and safe housing
  • any repairs or maintenance to the housing to be undertaken in a timely manner
  • a pleasant living environment, encouraging respect
  • a fair and transparent exit process
  • a formal process for resolving issues.

Independent resolution for disputes about transitional housing accommodation

Transitional housing providers have dispute resolution processes that are expected to be followed when disputes arise between themselves and households in transitional housing. Sometimes, for whatever reason, these internal processes are not able to resolve the dispute.

Where providers and households haven’t been able to sort disputes about accommodation between themselves, they are able to escalate the dispute to an Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) Service.

The IDR Service supports resolving disputes collaboratively through mediation in the first instance. Where a mediated outcome is not possible, the IDR Service will make an official decision, or adjudication, on the dispute. Providers and households are expected to comply with the decisions made by the IDR Service.

Fairway Resolution Limited (Fair Way) have been contracted to provide the IDR Service.

Te Tūāpapa Kura Kainga – The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development currently funds the IDR Service. This means all parties can access the service free of charge. 

What disputes does the IDR Service cover?

The rights and obligations of transitional housing providers and households for the duration of a stay in transitional housing accommodation are set out in a Housing Agreement. The Housing Agreement can also include rules of stay for the accommodation that are specific to the transitional housing programme or the site.

The IDR Service can consider, mediate and/or decide disputes about an alleged breach of a Housing Agreement. This includes the validity of rules of stay. The IDR Service cannot consider disputes that relate to a security deposit or housing contribution, nor can it provide monetary compensation for breaches. 

Compliant Housing Agreements which refer to the IDR Service are expected to be in place from 1 December 2023.

The scope of the IDR Service includes the complaints that can and cannot be considered, preconditions for considering complaints, outcomes the Service can provide, decision-making criteria, information gathering and reporting requirements. 

Supporting documents

How can a dispute be escalated?

To escalate a dispute, a household or transitional housing provider can contact Fair Way through:
Email: housing@fairwayresolution.com
Online: fill out the webform(external link)
Freephone: 0800 77 44 08

Visit the Fair Way Resolution Limited website for more information(external link)