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Nats break emergency housing pledge - deliver just five more places

Despite National’s promises of 2,200 emergency housing beds, just 737 were provided in the March Quarter, an increase of only five from six months earlier, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“We have an unprecedented number of Kiwis living in cars, garages, and motels. National’s housing crisis is forcing hardship on thousands of Kiwi families. Now, we learn their promises last year have come to nothing.

“Last year, National promised to fund 2,200 emergency housing beds, an increase of 1,400. They didn’t deliver. Instead, only 737 emergency housing places were contracted in the March Quarter of 2017. That’s up just five from the 732 contracted in September 2016.

“Last winter, New Zealanders were horrified by the stories and images of homeless Kiwi families living in appalling conditions. National promised to act, but they didn’t. Even more Kiwi families face homelessness this winter because of National’s inaction.

“The root of the homelessness crisis is National’s decision to sell or knock down thousands of state houses and not replace them. Yesterday, Labour announced a plan for 400 new houses on Housing New Zealand land that National has left empty for years.

“Labour will fix the housing crisis by building affordable starter homes for first homebuyers and state houses for families in need, while cracking down on speculators and improving tenants’ rights, says Phil Twyford.