Govt must prioritise building more homes, not kicking people out

If the Government was serious about moving families into public housing, they would build more houses so there is actually somewhere for people to go. 

“The shameful reality is that many children are being raised in hotels and backpackers in our country. The Government will make this issue worse by adding more barriers for people to enter secure, permanent public housing,” says the Green Party’s social development spokesperson, Ricardo Menendez March.

“How on earth has it escaped the Government’s notice that when people move out of emergency housing, they also need a secure home to go? The logic of making it harder for families to access emergency housing and easier to kick people out of public housing without building more homes is incomprehensible.

“We absolutely need to reduce the number of people who have to rely on emergency housing for a place to call home. 

“But it makes no sense to make moves to kick them out without first making sure they have a warm, dry place to go. The Government is wrong to assume people make themselves homeless. The system was designed to push people into homelessness due to high rents, lack of access to public housing and benefit levels below the poverty line contribute to people needing to live in motels.

“It’s unreasonable to force people living below the poverty line to enter rentals they can’t afford. All the Government will achieve is pushing families into unaffordable rentals they won’t be able to sustain, pushing more families back into homelessness. 

“Right now, there is no guarantee that the Kainga Ora building programme is going to continue beyond next year. The Greens campaigned on clearing the housing waiting list and ending poverty to put an end to so many families needing to live in motels.

“Rather than finding more reasons to kick people out on to the streets, the Government should invest in public housing and provide adequate income support to those without a safe home to live in.

"National must come clean that their plan to increase the ability for MSD to kick people out of Emergency Housing will leave more families out in the cold and make the problem worse.

“Restricting people’s eligibility to access emergency housing at the same time as rolling back on house building is a disaster in the making,” says Ricardo Menendez March.

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