The Salvation Army’s Hard Times report into homelessness in West Auckland shows an urgent need for more emergency accommodation in the area, as well as increased financial assistance from Government for our most vulnerable people, the Green Party said today.
“This piece of work shows just how grim the situation is for people sleeping rough in West Auckland and, no doubt, in other areas of our country too,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.
“It’s also clear that community organisations and charities, such as the Salvation Army, are having to step in and support these people as best they can because the Government isn’t doing a good enough job of it.
“I was struck by how many of the respondents were receiving benefits but were unable to make ends meet with it – they couldn’t afford to pay for a room in a boarding house, let alone a place of their own, as well as food, power, clothing and all the other necessities of life.
“Income really does matter – especially in the context of Auckland’s hyper-expensive housing market – and it’s clear our most vulnerable people are not receiving enough income to stay off the streets.
“We’ve heard a lot of crowing from National about how they’ve raised benefits – the reality is it’s nowhere enough.
“Our most vulnerable people are not earning enough to support themselves and their families.
“Creating affordable, accessible, secure accommodation for low-income and vulnerable Aucklanders needs to be a priority for the Government – not just building houses that will sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars in brand new sub-divisions,” said Mrs Turei.