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What next? Dog kennels?

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett needs to explain why the Government thinks it is acceptable for it to refer families to live in garages and sheds, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“This is a new low, just when you thought the housing crisis couldn’t get any worse.

“The Ministry of Social Development has confirmed it refers people to live in garages where they are paying up to $500 a week, and even to slum landlords who are charging up to $350 for an entire family to rent a single room in a shared house.

“Now we know it is Government policy to do this, but I think the public deserve the Minister’s explanation of why she thinks this is okay in New Zealand in the 21st century.

“This Government is paying thousands of dollars of taxpayer’s money directly into the pockets of slum landlords in bond and rent in advance. But according to officials their ‘registered supplier process’ for landlords doesn’t include vetting the standard of accommodation.

 “What’s next, dog kennels?

“This Government is like a possum in the headlights. It is incapable of a decisive and coherent response to the housing crisis it has allowed to spin out of control.

“Instead of this Government-sponsored rack renting, they should massively increase the funding for supported emergency housing as Labour has proposed. It is barking mad that they are selling state houses – they should be building more,” Phil Twyford says.