New Zealand Labour Party

It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless

National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and every year since. We now have families living in cars and garages and nowhere for the social agencies to accommodate them.

“The Government’s latest big idea is to transfer state housing to the Salvation Army. But here’s the catch: it is not planning to increase the spending on state housing and isn’t planning to build one extra house.

“National simply doesn’t know what to do. It has run out of ideas. 

“The Government wants to sell 22,000 state houses which it says are the wrong size or in the wrong place to charities. Will that magically mean those houses are in the right place and are the right size?

“A vague promise to transfer state housing to the charity sector might add a veneer of warm-fuzzy to National’s brand strategy but it won’t house the thousands of homeless families who are desperate for a roof over their heads.

“National can’t bring itself to invest properly in state and social housing. Instead it is kicking the can down the road, and hoping the Salvation Army picks it up.

“Labour would invest properly in social housing to ensure those in need get the support they deserve,” Phil Twyford said.