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National’s housing crisis drives need for emergency housing

National’s belated copying of Labour’s emergency housing policy still fails to address the causes of the housing crisis, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. 

“Today’s announcements won’t solve National’s housing crisis. Every week, there’s a new announcement from National and all they show is how bad they’ve let things get.

“National has announced funding for an extra 1,400 emergency housing places, exactly what Labour announced back in July, but it needs to adopt Labour’s full plan. This announcement is an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff but the real solution is to stop pushing people off the cliff in the first place. 

“The heart of the housing crisis is a lack of affordable housing and state houses. There’s no substitute for building houses. That’s why Labour will build 100,000 affordable homes for first homebuyers to purchase as well as thousands more state houses, and lock speculators out of the market. 

“The Cross Party Inquiry on Homelessness found an extra 15-25,000 state houses are needed so 41,000 homeless Kiwis can all have proper housing. The massive increase in homelessness is a direct result of National’s negligent mismanagement of the housing crisis, including its sell-off of state houses. 

“The $100m loan to Housing New Zealand is an admission that National has been bleeding state housing dry. Over half a billion dollars in ‘profits’ have been extracted from Housing New Zealand by National, leaving state houses in a dire state and unable to meet demand. This is an admission of National’s role in causing the housing crisis,” says Mr Twyford.