John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams
“The Government promised to build 700 houses in 12 months. Now seven months on, the Government can add these four to the 29 built by the end of May..
“It’s an abysmal failure and the Government should be ashamed to show their faces in our community.
“Four families will have the luxury of an insulated, dry home, which is wonderful for them. But Canterbury needs thousands of new houses. What about the hundreds of families still desperate to get a roof over their heads? More and more families are experiencing severe hardship.
“One agency supporting new mums say they successfully housed a pregnant mum in a cabin in Spencer Park, just in time to have her baby. This is not the environment we want for our new-borns.
“The Government’s owns figures show up to 7400 people are living in substandard conditions including garages ,cars and tents. Cantabrians are in their fourth winter after the quakes, and fewer than a thousand of the 12-15,000 houses needed have been built.
“Talk is cheap, but the numbers don’t lie. Treasury has reported that the market will not deliver enough homes for Canterbury and CERA says that a further 25000 homes will be needed by 2020. Rents have increased by over 40% and are on par with Auckland.
“Labour will not stand by and watch our community suffer another freezing winter without adequate housing. Labour will build 10,000 Kiwibuild homes in the first four years in office, earmarking 400 in the first six months for temporary emergency housing, and the next 3000 as affordable rentals. We will lift the accommodation supplement to bring it into line with other high-rent areas like Auckland, putting up to an extra $50 a week into the pockets of renters.
“Labour knows that housing is at the heart of the rebuild and we will put the needs of our people first,” Poto Williams said .