Homeless people who get a grant of up to $5000 to leave Auckland will now get cash payments of a further $2000 or $3000 on top of their actual moving costs to entice them to leave.

The new grants became available from yesterday, but eligibility details and payment calculations will not be available on the Work and Income website until today.

Press releases by Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett have mentioned only grants of “up to $5000” to cover actual “moving costs, bonds, letting fees and other expenses”.

But Ministry of Social Development (MSD) housing chief Carl Crafar revealed last night that everyone who gets a grant to leave Auckland will also get a cash payment of $2000 to move into social housing, or $3000 to move into private housing, as “set amounts” over and above actual moving costs.

The usual caveat. I don’t know anything about being homeless, or their challenges or whatever. But I assume many homeless people have an informal support infrastructure around them consisting of friends and extended family, especially if there are children in the mix, and that they would have relationships with social workers and/or mental health carers. So paying them to move away from all that support infrastructure because it would let the Minister stand up in Parliament and gloat about reducing the wait-list for Auckland houses just seems like such an awful, obviously stupid thing to do.