New Zealand Labour Party

Housing crisis about real people not numbers

The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.

“Latest MSD figures show 190 New Zealanders were living in garages or vehicles at the time they applied for social housing. 

“For the first time they also highlight how many people don’t even make the social housing waiting list, with less than a third (1853) of the 6667 applications received by MSD for social housing in the four months to March gaining a place on the list.

“This means at least 4814 applicants – and possibly many more given that one application can account for a whole family  – are being kept ‘off the books’ as they wait  to get on the waiting list.

“The situation is untenable and dangerous.

“It’s been over a year since the Government began its social housing reforms and MSD received $11.5m as a result of the transfer of services from Housing New Zealand, yet things are getting worse, not better.

“With private rents increasing and house prices going through the roof, particularly in Auckland, the demand for social housing is as strong as ever.

“Unfortunately this Government cares more about the interests of speculators and developers than everyday Kiwis,” Carmel Sepuloni says.