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Salvation Army report confirms National’s role in housing crisis

The Salvation Army’s report Taking Stock: The Demand for Social Housing in New Zealand, released today, confirms that the National Government’s policies have been a driving factor in creating the housing crisis, the Green Party said today.

The report shows a net decrease of state housing stock by Housing New Zealand from around 69,000 in 2009 to 67,282 in 2016 (including Tamaki Regeneration houses). The Green Party’s own analysis of a Question for Written Answer shows that Housing NZ only built a net total of 125 new dwellings from 2009 to 2017.

“National’s social housing experiment has gone wildly wrong, and New Zealanders are paying the price,” said Green Party social housing spokesperson Marama Davidson.

“The Government has wilfully created a shortage of affordable and social housing through its state house sell-off.

“Meanwhile, Housing NZ has only built a net total of 125 houses across New Zealand since June 2009. Mix that with population growth, and out-of-control housing speculation, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

“This report also shows that pensioners, beneficiaries and other Kiwis on low incomes are paying up to 65 percent of their income on rent, and as much as 70-75 percent in Auckland.

“How can families cope with those kinds of housing costs and still pay the bills and put food on the table?

“We have the highest level of homelessness per capita in the OECD, with 1 in 100 New Zealanders living in cars, garages or sleeping rough on the street.

“The Green Party in government will fix the housing market by building more state housing, improving tenant security, putting in a capital gains tax, increasing the incomes of our poorest people and raising the minimum wage.

“That’s how we get more people off the streets and into homes, not by selling off state housing and denying the existence of a crisis,” said Ms Davidson.