Labour’s shame – the government of kindness is protecting the incomes of middle-class landlords ahead of providing homes for those in desperate need.
When the Labour-led government came to power in 2017 there were 5844 people on the state house waiting list. Three years later there are 18,520 and rising rapidly.
In numbers that’s a 218% increase – on the ground that means an extra 12,676 families with severe housing needs – people cast aside by successive governments – people living in cars, vans, caravans, garages and rat-infested hovels.
The best Labour has offered was its announcement in this year’s budget of the building of 8,000 new state houses (actually only 6,000 will be state houses – the rest will come from community housing providers) over the next five years. Yes, you read that right. Even if Labour remains in government over the next eight years there will still be 10,520 people in desperate housing need – almost double the waiting list they inherited. Not to mention the extra families flooding onto the waiting list in the meantime.
There is no way Labour can spin this – it shouts INCOMPETENCE, UNKINDNESS and FAILURE writ large.
Labour is following National’s lead in keeping state house numbers low to force low-income families into private sector rentals and so maintain high rents for middle-class landlords.
The money is there to build the houses needed for those in desperate need but Labour is unmoved. They won’t do it. Their policy says they don’t care. They are forcing Kainga Ora (formerly Housing New Zealand) to borrow the money – at higher interest rates than the government could borrow it – so it doesn’t show up as debt on the government’s books.
The graph above is Labour’s shame. The party intends to coast to an election victory with no commitment to address the low-income housing crisis which has ballooned out of control under their ineptitude.
Instead of building state houses they are happy to provide massive subsidies to the nastiest of private landlords and property managers to keep homeless families off the TV news and keep middle-class landlords happy.