Govt in persistent denial about housing crisis

The Government owes it to New Zealanders to admit we have a housing crisis and to prioritise getting more people into secure homes by making long lasting changes to the housing market, the Green Party said today.

Yesterday’s announcement of $300 million funding for emergency housing over the next four years has come on the back of pressure from the sector and the Cross Party Inquiry into Homelessness which reported back last month.

“There is no question that this money is welcomed with open arms, we still have people with nowhere to sleep tonight. But I want to see it backed with an admission from the Prime Minister that there is a crisis,” Green Party social housing spokesperson Marama Davidson said today.

“The Prime Minister is still not admitting that we have a housing and homelessness crisis that has formed under his Government’s watch.

“Both the Prime Minister and Paula Bennett said that they have noticed more demand for emergency housing in recent months. It’s ridiculous for them to expect New Zealanders to believe that’s why they have announced this funding, we have all been calling out for help for much much longer.

“The Government is still not addressing the systemic problems that we need to fix to avoid more and more people becoming homeless.

“To fix the systemic problems the Government must build more affordable houses, reduce the cost of building a home, and tackle speculation in the property market.

“The Labour, Green and Māori Party inquiry made it impossible for National to keep ignoring people living in cars and garages. Yesterday’s announcement shows that the Government will eventually bend to public and political pressure, but in this case it has taken them too long to take any action.

“Without systemic change this $300 million remains a very expensive ambulance at the bottom of a very tall cliff,” said Ms Davidson.

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