Government wipes debt for HNZ meth testing tenants

People living in Housing New Zealand (HNZ) properties who were wrongly evicted because of flawed methamphetamine contamination policies will have their related debts with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) written off.

“This is one more way we can right things for people who needed emergency housing and other MSD support after their Housing NZ tenancies ended because of erroneous meth contamination policies,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni says.

“The Government has instructed MSD to write off debts for the support people needed as a direct result of these policies ending their Housing NZ tenancy.

“Some people who lost their homes then turned to MSD for support for things like emergency housing, moving costs, storage, replacement furniture, school uniforms or bond and rent in advance.

“MSD granted the support but people were required to pay back the money and some fell into significant debt.

“The debt is a burden for many and has caused distress for those who lost their homes through no fault of their own.

“The Government has instructed MSD to wipe these debts.

“MSD will also refund any money people have already paid back. Payments to these people will start from mid-April and MSD hopes to have everyone paid by mid-year.

“This Government is committed to ensuring people are accessing their full and legal entitlements and are treated with respect and fairness in the welfare system,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

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