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National’s shame: worst homelessness in the OECD

National’s legacy is a housing crisis that has given New Zealand the worst homeless rate in the developed world, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

Yale researchers have found New Zealand’s homelessness rate of nearly one per cent of the population is higher than any other OECD country, and several times worse than the UK or US.

“Families living in motels, cars, and garages; a record waiting list for state houses; Auckland City Mission forced to turn people away; homeless people dying in the street – these are the human costs of National’s housing crisis, along with falling homeownership and skyrocketing rents.

“It is simply shameful that National has not built the houses we need to give all our people a home. Labour first proposed KiwiBuild in 2012; if National had adopted that plan five years ago, we would have built nearly 50,000 houses by now.

“After nine years, even Paula Bennett now admits National got it wrong but, truth is, they won’t change. Their latest ‘plan’ involves building just one affordable house a day in Auckland, at a time when the population is growing by over 120 a day.

“Labour’s fresh approach will build affordable homes for Kiwi families to buy, and state houses for those in need. We’ll take a breather on immigration while our housing and infrastructure catch up with demand.

“We wouldn’t give the top 10 per cent of earners a $400m tax cut when families need a roof over their heads. This election is about choices: a decent place to live for every New Zealander, with a chance for young people to own their own home is Labour’s top priority,” says Phil Twyford.