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End homelessness now – scrap flag vote and stop state house sell-off

If the Government scrapped the flag referendum and stopped selling-off state houses it could completely eliminate homelessness, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“The Salvation Army report out today shows homeless people are the collateral damage from National’s housing crisis. They have also highlighted that this a tragic, but completely preventable problem.

“This report is a damning indictment on the Government’s failure to address the Auckland housing crisis. It directly cites the shortage of affordable housing in low income areas as a cause of homelessness.

“It is a disgrace that 47 per cent of the 1202 homeless people in Auckland are children. National’s Auckland MPs in particular should hang their heads in shame.

“We know how to solve homelessness – you provide houses for people to live in and support services for the homeless to get their lives back on track. All that is missing is the political will of the Government.

“Paula Bennett should stop tinkering at the margins and commit to a nationwide strategy to end homelessness.

“If National stops its state house selling-off and uses its 2000 vacant properties, it could house the homeless. And by cancelling the flag referendum which two-thirds of Kiwis don’t want anyway, it would free up the money to invest in the necessary support services,” Phil Twyford says.