National's housing crisis worsens

Paula Bennett's frank admission this morning that the Government should have “in hindsight” taken action on the housing crisis sooner will be of little comfort to the growing number of people who are waiting to get into a state house, the Green Party said today.

Paula Bennett's frank admission this morning that the Government should have “in hindsight” taken action on the housing crisis sooner will be of little comfort to the growing number of people who are waiting to get into a state house, the Green Party said today.

The number of applicants on the state house waiting list is now 5,353 – up 38% on the same time last year, with almost 500 added since March 2017.

“How has it taken the Government, with all of its power and resources, so long to work out just how severe our housing crisis is? The evidence is everywhere – there are more people sleeping on our streets, in cars, in garages, and in motel rooms,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“New Zealanders have known it for years, why hasn’t National?

“We have the highest level of homelessness in the OECD and yet National still thinks it’s okay to tinker around the edges and hope for the best.

“Thousands of families are in desperate need and are stuck waiting for a home. That is a sign of massive Government failure.

“Meanwhile, National is still continuing its programme of selling off state houses, while at the same time part-nationalising the motel industry. It makes absolutely no sense.

“Apparently, Paula Bennett would rather spend $12 million every three months on emergency accommodation in motels, rather than building permanent, secure, warm state homes for the people who need them most.

“The Green Party in government will prioritise building state and affordable housing, end the disastrous state house sell-off, and work with the sector and local councils to end homelessness,” said Mr Shaw.  

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