Emergency housing grants data released today show another blow out in spending on putting homeless people up in motels, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.
“The Government is renting motel rooms at a rate of $33 million a year. It’s a very expensive band-aid.
“In the March quarter 9,218 grants were issued. That’s 358 more grants than in the December quarter. The total spend was $8.8 million which is up from $7.7 million in the previous quarter.
“This means the Government has spent $16.6 million in six months issuing 18,078 grants to struggling families.
“At this rate the Government will have made 36,000 grants costing $33 million in the first year instead of providing 1,400 grants costing $2 million as expected.
“The fact the Government thought $2 million would be enough for a year shows how painfully out of touch they are.
“Of course everyone wants to see homeless families get a roof over their heads, but it is a scandal that National has allowed the housing crisis to get so out of control that people need to be put up in motels in these numbers.
“After all their big promises of new emergency housing National has increased the supply by only five beds in the last six months.
“National has taken $1.8 billion out of Housing NZ in dividends, tax and interest payments. That would have been enough to build 5000 new state houses.
“Labour will fix the housing crisis by building affordable homes for first home buyers, banning foreign buyers, and building thousands of extra state houses instead of selling them off,” says Phil Twyford.