Long-term commitment needed on public housing

Budget 2023’s investment in public housing falls short of what’s needed.

“Our communities living in motels and in overcrowded homes need long-term funding from the Government to guarantee they all have a healthy, safe, and affordable home, no matter if they rent or own,” says Green Party spokesperson for public housing Ricardo Menéndez March.

“There are few things more important to people and whānau than the homes and communities they live in. When people are able to live in stable and warm homes, then more of their income can be spent ensuring them and their whānau are living happy, thriving lives.

“Right now, the massive cost of having a safe, warm home to live in is one of the main reasons why so many people are struggling to make ends meet. It is even worse for Māori, Pasifika and disabled children. Poor and expensive housing continues to be a major factor.

“We need urgent action to boost incomes, which this Budget also falls short on. But income support alone won’t be enough. We also need long-term investment to significantly increase the Government’s building programme. That needs to happen alongside action to empower community housing providers and iwi to build more homes.

“Right now, the biggest barrier to making sure everyone has a warm, safe, and dry home is the government itself. It comes down to this: if the government doesn’t raise enough money - for example by taxing wealth or capital gains - it cannot pay for the services and investments we all need.

“And so, if people want a government that will invest in a massive house building programme to ensure everyone has a safe place to live and put down roots, we need more Green MPs. The tools to lift every family and child out of poverty exist; the Government just needs to use them,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.

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