More public houses where they’re needed most

Labour is building thousands of new state houses as part of our work to ensure every Kiwi has a warm, dry place to call home.

Today, Jacinda Ardern and Megan Woods released the Government’s Public Housing Plan 2021-2024, which outlines where in the country thousands of new public houses will be built over the next four years.

Our Government has committed to delivering an extra 8,000 public and transitional houses by 2024, focusing on the regions hardest hit by housing shortages. This includes Northland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Napier, Hastings, Palmerston North and Whanganui.

These additional 8,000 houses are on top of the thousands currently underway or in the pipeline, and the more than 4,500 we’ve already delivered across New Zealand. In fact, we’re building more new public housing than any other government in the past two decades.

However, after years of too few homes being built, and after the previous National Government sold off thousands of state houses, the need for public housing continues to grow, which is why today’s Public Housing Plan is an important next step.

Building more houses is also a key part of our COVID economic recovery plan, helping to create jobs and support the economy.

“Fixing the housing crisis is a key focus of this Government and our public housing programme plays a key part,” Jacinda Ardern says.

“This is not only delivering more warm, dry public housing for those most vulnerable to housing shortages, but also boosts economic activity, jobs in the building sector, employment and apprenticeship opportunities for young people.”

There is no silver bullet to fix the housing crisis, and building more public houses is only one of the ways we’re helping more Kiwis into homes. Other ways we’re making progress on housing include launching a progressive home ownership scheme to help families buy their own homes, supporting people experiencing chronic homelessness through the Housing First programme, and making building new houses easier by addressing issues like complex planning laws and infrastructure investment.

There’s more to do, and it will take time to solve a problem that’s been decades in the making. However, we’re committed to tackling New Zealand’s housing crisis, and will be rolling out more initiatives to support this work in the coming months.

In the meantime, you can read more about the Public Housing Plan, including the regional breakdown of public housing numbers, here.

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