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English out of touch on homelessness

Bill English’s comments that he doesn’t know why people are complaining about the blowout in the number of homeless families the government is putting up in motels just shows how tired and out of touch National is after nine years, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“New Zealanders are rightly outraged that National is selling off state houses while spending $50m a year dumping families in need in motels. They’re stunned that National is so out of touch they thought they would be spending just $2m a year on motel rooms, when the problem is 25 times that size.

“New Zealanders know that every family needs a home, a permanent roof over their heads. Shunting kids from motel to motel, week to week, is no solution.

“Labour will stop National’s state house sell-off and stop sucking profits out of Housing New Zealand. We’ll build thousands of state houses for families in need, alongside our KiwiBuild programme to build good starter homes for first home buyers.

“Last week, we learned that New Zealand has the worst homeless rate in the developed world, and National’s response was to quibble about definitions. They have no ideas, no solutions, just excuses.

“National’s legacy is the worst housing crisis in the world. It’s time for Labour’s fresh approach to make sure that every Kiwi has a decent place to live,” says Phil Twyford.