Government should stop joking about homelessness and build houses

New data showing that the number of homeless people in the Auckland CBD has risen 20 percent in the last year shows the Government needs to start building desperately needed homes, the Green Party said today.*

“The Government needs to stop joking about homelessness, as the Prime Minister did in Parliament today, and get on with building more houses,” Green Party social housing spokesperson Marama Davidson said.

“Families sleeping on the floor of marae, or in their cars, would be devastated to hear the Prime Minister joking about whether they’re actually homeless or if they’re just renovating their houses.

“John Key and Paula Bennett both mislead New Zealanders about homeless people not wanting help last week yet neither are prepared to apologise for the hurt they caused. And now they’re joking about homeless families.

“Clearly, neither John Key nor Paula Bennett have any idea what life is really like for families spat out the rough end of the housing crisis, who genuinely have nowhere to live.

“My challenge is that John Key and Paula Bennett go down to Te Puea Marae and help out, and talk to people who have nowhere else to go.

“There is a simple solution to the homelessness crisis, and that’s for the Government to pick up its tools and build more houses instead of making excuses.

“It’s time to put families first. The Government has a choice, fix the homelessness crisis or keep making excuses.

“In Government, the Green Party will build thousands of affordable and state homes so all New Zealanders have a home to call their own,” said Ms Davidson.

*The 2016 Auckland City Street Count found 177 people sleeping rough within a 3 km radius of the Sky Tower, with another 51 in temporary emergency accommodation, up from 147 people last year.

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