Government's social housing numbers wrong

The Government is vastly misrepresenting how many additional homes will be created under its so-called social housing plan, in order to make its fire-sale of state homes look better, the Green Party says.

Government Ministers have claimed they’ll be able to accommodate more people in “social housing” and slash Housing New Zealand wait lists by evicting families, selling up to 2000 homes in the next year, and building an additional 1000 state houses.

“There are now 1500 fewer state homes than there were in 2011, and the ‘additional’ 1000 houses will not even replace those National has already sold off,” Green Party housing spokesperson Kevin Hague said.

“The so-called extra homes aren’t additional at all and the 3000 extra families National says will be living in social housing within a year, will only replace those who it decides to kick out.

“The Government’s social housing plan relies on evicting families and throwing them onto a private market which can’t meet existing needs, while it sells off state houses in order to make its books look better.

“John Key yesterday tried to blame existing state tenants for the fact that families are living in garages, when in actual fact his Government has failed to ensure existing homes didn’t lie empty and that enough new homes are being built to meet real needs.

 “Selling off state homes without a plan to replace them will only result in vulnerable families and older people, who rely on these homes, being worse off.

“This is ideology-driven policy designed to benefit landlords and property developers who’ll lap up the cheap properties and new rental subsidies, while families and older New Zealanders have even less opportunity to find a safe, healthy home,” Mr Hague said.