The Green Party today announced a plan to build hundreds of new state homes to help house New Zealanders who are living in cars, garages or on the streets.
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, freeing up $207 million in the next financial year to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses.
“We have a housing emergency in this country, happening right now, and our plan is an urgent, direct response to it,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.
“This plan isn’t the silver bullet for our housing emergency, it’s just the start, but the bottom line is we need the Government to build more state houses, not sell them off, or pretend the problem doesn’t exist.
“It’s shameful that in a wealthy country like New Zealand we have so many people sleeping in cars, in garages and on the streets.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. The Government has the power and the money to ensure every New Zealander lives in a warm, safe, dry home – it just lacks the will.
“It’s ludicrous that we have around 4500 people on the Housing New Zealand waiting list but Housing New Zealand is forced to prioritise paying the Government millions of dollars in dividend and tax.
“All of that money could and should be put towards building state homes and housing vulnerable Kiwi families – the Government just needs to make it happen.
“The housing crisis is felt hardest by people who have the least. We need the Government to prioritise finding a home for people who have nowhere to live.
“People living in garages, in cars and on the streets is not the kind of country most New Zealanders recognise or want.
“We need the Government to show some compassion and common sense, and build more houses for our most vulnerable New Zealanders to live in,” said Mrs Turei.