Government’s state housing targets out of touch with needs – Auckland Action Against Poverty

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Figures showing that the housing waiting list has reached a record 14,500 households demonstrates that the Government’s investment towards building new state housing is inadequate and needs reviewing. Auckland Action Against Poverty is calling on the Government to at least triple its state housing targets to match the number of households waiting for a home and increase funding to Kāinga Ora.

“Families are suffering due to the chronic underfunding of the state housing sector. This Government needs to inject more money into building at least three times as many state homes in the next four years if it is serious about ending the homelessness crisis”, says Ricardo Menendez March, Auckland Action Against Poverty Coordinator.

“The Government’s target of 6,400 state homes in four years since it came to power is less than half the number of households waiting for a state home. This means the Government thinks it is acceptable to leave over 5,000 households in cold, unsafe, precarious housing conditions for several years. Many people waiting for public housing are having to live in expensive motels that do not provide suitable conditions for people to live in. The only way to reduce the fast-growing bill for emergency accommodation in the medium term is by building enough public housing. In the months of July to September this year the Government put $41 million dollars into the hands of moteliers, up from $15 million over the same period of months in 2018. Moteliers are profiting from the Government’s under investment in state housing.

“It’s irresponsible to not change the pace at which state homes are being built when the number of people needing public housing is increasing at a much faster rate. The current mixed housing tenure means that most of the land used for housing developments is going into private housing that is out of reach for the thousands of households waiting for public housing. In Mangere alone two thirds of the homes that are being built will be private, with only a third going into public housing.

“With a record surplus and low debt the time is right to invest in public infrastructure. We are urging the Government to prioritise the needs of those without a home and to better resource the building of state housing in the upcoming budget. Investing in more state housing to provide a home for the 14,500 households waiting for a state home will help reduce costs in other sectors such as healthcare, by ensuring that children and the elderly are not suffering from preventable respiratory diseases due to their poor housing conditions.

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“Access to public housing and income-related rent is a way to ensure that households are not burdened with rising rent. Living in a state home ensures that you do not pay a disproportionate amount of your income on rent, as many low-income families who live in private rentals do. We know that people on the benefit are the most burdened by rising rent, according to Stats NZ’s own reports, with some families spending up to 60% of their weekly income on rent. Guaranteeing that no one is paying more than 30% of their weekly income on rent would massively contribute to the reduction of poverty in Aotearoa.

“It is not good enough for this Government to treat housing as a political football and defend its low targets by claiming it is building more state homes than the previous one, it needs to commit to building enough public housing to ensure that no family is left behind in unsafe and unhealthy conditions.”

13 COMMENTS

  1. The housing shortage in NZ is a disgrace we should be ashamed. I can see the current coalition government are building as fast as they can. But I can also see State housing being replaced with houses for the middle class and rich and this is not right or fair, this is not who those houses or the land they sit on was intended for. We were allocated by the racist State HNZ staff, homes often in industrial areas or what was considered unsavoury areas that is where they put us Maori. And I see people complaining’ not in our area’ rhetoric. We see peoples true colours when in time of need. And I don’t like what I am seeing because it was pakeha who benefited mostly and still do from our state bureaucracy, they got the jobs and they had the power, not Maori. When being allocated a state place we got put into these areas and we didn’t get to buy our nice state house in central Lower hutt when the national government starting selling them which they have a track record for doing. How do I know all this, I was tenant for many years and I can tell you some stories of racism, discrimination and the unfairness that was rife in HNZ. And this is just one government department so imagine the damage the others did and some still do (CYFS now OT)

  2. The housing shortage in NZ is a disgrace we should be ashamed. I can see the current coalition government are building as fast as they can. But I can also see State housing being replaced with houses for the middle class and rich and this is not right or fair, this is not who those houses or the land they sit on was intended for. We were allocated by the racist State HNZ staff, homes often in industrial areas or what was considered unsavoury areas that is where they put us Maori. And I see people complaining’ not in our area’ rhetoric. We see peoples true colours when in time of need. And I don’t like what I am seeing because it was pakeha who benefited mostly and still do from our state bureaucracy, they got the jobs and they had the power, not Maori. When being allocated a state place we got put into these areas and we didn’t get to buy our nice state house in central Lower hutt when the national government starting selling them which they have a track record for doing. How do I know all this, I was tenant for many years and I can tell you some stories of racism, discrimination and the unfairness that was rife in HNZ. And this is just one government department so imagine the damage the others did and some still do (CYFS now OT)

  3. The housing shortage in NZ is a disgrace we should be ashamed. I can see the current coalition government are building as fast as they can. But I can also see State housing being replaced with houses for the middle class and rich and this is not right or fair, this is not who those houses or the land they sit on was intended for. We were allocated by the racist State HNZ staff, homes often in industrial areas or what was considered unsavoury areas that is where they put us Maori. And I see people complaining’ not in our area’ rhetoric. We see peoples true colours when in time of need. And I don’t like what I am seeing because it was pakeha who benefited mostly and still do from our state bureaucracy, they got the jobs and they had the power, not Maori. When being allocated a state place we got put into these areas and we didn’t get to buy our nice state house in central Lower hutt when the national government starting selling them which they have a track record for doing. How do I know all this, I was tenant for many years and I can tell you some stories of racism, discrimination and the unfairness that was rife in HNZ. And this is just one government department so imagine the damage the others did and some still do (CYFS now OT)

  4. There has been a housing shortage for years. National did not do a great job in this area and should have pushed councils to make it easier to build. I do not agree with the state being a landlord as it can lead to pork barrel politics however the state should finance the building of simple state houses and low rate mortgages that will get people on the home ownership ladder.
    I am sure Maori groups now have the financial base to build and support their people .
    Greens need to stop thinking of the landlord as the enemy and realise they are just small businesses and the bad landlords are the minority the same in all fields of enterprise

  5. As usual trev sennit you are way of the mark, national sold 2 thousand state homes and land and they sold a Special housing area to a chinese airline in Auckland it was prime land. And why should Maori use the pittance they got back for their land you sound jealous. What happened to the treaty signed on behalf of you queen Victoria and the ‘we are one people bullshit’ does that not apply cause the point I am trying to make is one people got mostly everything and the other so called partner got fuck all. Pork belly politics is that why you left your country too much pork belly aye! your not in england now look whats happening there they are sick of immigrants well that is how many or us feel too sick of people like you who don’t know our history and don’t really care.

    • You condemn racism then racially abuse me as an English migrant. I do not envy any one as this country has allowed me to work hard and provide a good life for my family. I was asked to come here many years ago as the country was short of workers. Migrants are still needed because there is not the will to do a hard days work by many locals who rather sit on the couch .
      Re those 2000 houses most were sold to community housing groups very few went to the private market except those that were bought by the sitting tenant. Many of these community groups were Maori groups who were better placed to get the right people in these homes.

  6. As usual trev sennit you are way of the mark, national sold 2 thousand state homes and land and they sold a Special housing area to a chinese airline in Auckland it was prime land. And why should Maori use the pittance they got back for their land you sound jealous like a typical person of mother england bringing your baggage here. What happened to the treaty signed on behalf of you queen Victoria and the ‘we are one people bullshit’ does that not apply cause the point I am trying to make is one people got mostly everything and the other so called partner got fuck all. Pork belly politics is that why you left your country too much pork belly aye! your not in england now look whats happening there they are sick of immigrants well that is how many or us feel too sick of people like you who don’t know our history and don’t really care.

  7. We Keep hearing that the waiting list has grown but not in any context where that figure is of any use. I would like to know the number of state houses in 2008 then 2017, then compare it to the number of state houses now. We then need to know the number of people homeless at the same time periods with the number of other rental housing as well. While it sounds a bit like spin it could be that the reason for the increased waiting list is people can finally see a chance to get a state house so have rushed to join the waiting list.

    • With the waiting list doubling since National were in power, it’s very unlikely people are finally seeing a chance to get a state house so are rushing to join the waiting list.

      It’s more likely increasing private sector rents coupled with the shortage of private sector rentals are forcing more to seek state assistance.

  8. Housing is lagging behind the excessive immigration, both past and present.
    Instead of the private sector developers building for profit, a better model is the Govt building the houses as was done in the 1930s.
    But restrict immigration to fit housing available at reasonable purchase price or rental, availability of employment without taking opportunity away from young Kiwis as is happening now. Allow for infrastructure to catch up with the mess created by NACT’s massive immigration to boost consumerism for business NZ, enrichen the bankers and all at the dire cost to the country and Kiwi families.

  9. The system broke first for those with specific housing needs – disabled and their families.

    Everyone else began getting vocal only when it affected them….years too late.

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