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Motel purchase must not kick people onto the street

The Government’s purchase of a South Auckland motel to house the homeless must come with a promise that the current long term tenants will not be kicked out onto the streets, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“It is bizarre that Paula Bennett is trying to ease the homelessness crisis by housing people in motels but risks adding to homelessness by forcing current residents out of the motel.

“It is likely some of those staying in the motel will have nowhere to go. Housing NZ clearly doesn’t have places for them – otherwise the residents wouldn’t need to be in the motel in the first place.

“It doesn’t make sense. A motel is a stop-gap solution at best but this appears to be exacerbating homelessness while trying to solve it.

“The Government must make it clear to the worried residents of the motel that they will be looked after and not left in the lurch. Paula Bennett’s revolving door homelessness policy shows the only real solution to this crisis is a massive state house building programme. Instead of selling of state houses, the Government should be building them,” says Phil Twyford.