4000 children in motels is not an answer to homelessness  

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Housing crisis: More than 4,000 NZ children living in motels

There are now more than 4000 children growing up in motels across New Zealand, devastating parents who are desperate to find a permanent place for their kids to live.

The multi millions we are pumping into motels to keep the homelessness problem and housing affordability time bomb from exploding has created a situation where 4000 kids are growing up in motels.

This is where the tepidness of Government inaction on housing rears its ugliest head.

The stop gap measures of using motels are a bandaid without the healing. It’s not in the long term of short term interests of anyone other than the Government currently in power attempting to gloss over the lack of state housing.

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4000 NZ children deserve better from us as a country than this.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. The use of motels is a disgrace and it was and remains the go to for politicians who simply do the bare minimum to hide away those who would be literally living in the street otherwise.

    But not because they care mind! Politicians do so because they know damn well homeless kids and families is a bad look. They know that homelessness symbolises the deep failings in our economic system we strictly follow so it must be hidden. They use motels so they can leave our economic system just the way it has been for 35 years so they can avoid disrupting it.

    But oh the damage it does to those virtual homeless souls. Picture if our medical and pharmaceutical industry was a similar winner takes all model. It’s the same.

    What is clear is the market has failed a chunk of society and that is growing. It requires a government to do the right thing, not focus group, not poll watch, not radical but to quickly pass legislation to mass build, to rewrite laws around the culpable real estate industry and to make housing investing utterly unattractive.

    I suspect in the next month or two Labour will come out with a bunch of initiatives whose number one job will be to pretend they are doing something and they care whilst leaving the Titanic on precisely the same course. I suspect that Labour’s leadership are simply too stupid and too self centred to do anything else.

    Personally Prime Minister, I think you’ve failed miserably. If this appalling housing situation is going to your legacy then what are you doing here in the first place?

  2. Politicians and bureaucrats do not want to admit that the whole ‘we’ll build an economy around international tourism’ narrative was a concoction of stupid idea with no future.

    Paying motel owners to accommodate families helps keep them from going to the wall, and keeps the illusion things are fine when they are not.

    Tourism has no future, so the sensible course would be to convert the vast majority of the hotels and motels into proper permanent accommodation.

    However, governments are hardly noted for sensible policies. Generally quite the opposite.

    • Buying up motels and doing more intensive rebuilds is an option. But that would require placement of those in the motels elsewhere – spare camper vans with collective use facilities (something similar was done after the earthquake).

  3. Are they part of the team of 5 million ?
    If you read the back story there are 100 children who have been in motels for 2 years.
    Some of the housing crises can be blamed on National but this is happening now and there seems to be no real will to change the situation.

  4. Awaiting the reality check on house prices:

    ‘We acknowledge that we do not currently have evidence from New Zealand to suggest that default rates are higher for investors than owner-occupiers. However, this needs to be seen in the context of the housing market having had no severe downturns in recent history (since the early 1990s at least). The absence of a severe housing market downturn in the last 30 years is not evidence that one could not occur in future, and data on investor behaviour in prior shallow downturns may not be a good guide to the consequences of a future severe downturn. Moreover, as discussed above, the recent growth in lending to investors has been significantly higher than lending to other borrowers, and a higher share of this lending is occurring at high LVRs. This suggests that highly-leveraged investors are playing a key role in recent rapid house price inflation, which in turn increases the risks of a future sharp correction.’

    https://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/109139/house-prices

    • This type of down turn occurred in Melbourne and Sydney . The prices are creeping up again but precovid the values of many homes dropped by 35%. A small increase in mortgage rates will take many of those new home owners over the edge. This has happened before when a 1st mortgage was at 18% and second mortgage at 22%. Credit card rates were 29% and a car I brought on the drip was at 45%.

  5. ‘Tourism has no future, so the sensible course would be to convert the vast majority of the hotels and motels into proper permanent accommodation.’
    You know that is the best idea I have read in a long time. It would replicate the barrack accomodation that a Labour government built for homeless people in the 1940s.
    Mind you that was for them to live in while a socialist state found permanent homes for them( in the form of state houses with low rents for life or dwellings purchased with cheap government loans). Still it is way better than the total fuckup at present.
    It would also involve the state using coercive power against wealthy property owners – which I imagine would raise squawks of horror from all parties in parliament.
    I keep thinking we do not have to adopt new exciting and unproved economic theories( like the trickle down of wealth from rich to poor) when we have so many formulas that have already been tried and worked.

  6. Just when you though no one could be worse than a National government, along comes this iteration of a Labour government. Both parties are morally bankrupt. If you still support Ardern whilst previously bagging Key, then YOU are part of the problem. This government is a bloody disgrace. Stop being apologists for them.

    • Utter Rubbish. I remember Key squirming and sleazing his way out of condemnation in ways to which Ardern has yet to descend. eg “Look, nobody cares about..” or “I was not wearing that hat at the time..” etc.
      Stop over-simplifying Boyle.

  7. Yes the ” motel ” generation is another failure that should never have been a reality in the first place if as a country we followed sensible economic and social policy like we did pre 1984 where the focus was on people before profit at every level of the establishment. This situation is depriving innocent children of their right to live in a real home and to be happy and secure with parents and guardians not suffering from avoidable stress and hopelessness and having the dignity to support themselves with a survivable income. The Social Democrats will never be able to solve this emergency without seriously changing the economic structure that is the top twenty and it scorporate banking correctional facility for the poor, oppressed and dangerously ignorant. These outcomes are what happens when you give away all your rights and influence to the business ,corporate and banking establishment. When you give a man a gun he robs a bank , when you give a bank a gun it robs the world. The only way it will change is to form a new movement that will not have already sold their souls to the devil like the current MP’s in parliament and the government agencies.
    Adern and her colleagues and even the ones that would secretly love to do something , anything to change the status quo will find they are outnumbered. As we have discovered changing governments is futile when it is the neo liberal hell that the majority of us are trapped in with no possible escape. The unprecedented MMP majority is a gift in disguise for the free market storm troopers as they have three more years of unbridled power and the pandemic and a marketable PM has afforded them the opportunity to keep the neash tight while hiding the worst of the markets failures hidden in motels and away from any public awareness. Having corporate control of your media has effectively supressed the evidence of the crime being committed.

  8. Growing up in a large poor family I came used to scarcity from a young age. I had hand me down clothes until I was 10. Our family relied on the generous local Baker man who would bring us a bread tray of buns once a month for a treat. I spent most weekends chopping wood with dad, learning how to weld and fix things. I started working for a farmer at age 13 during school holidays. I earnt money to buy my own things and help mum and dad out when they were broke. This was during the 90s and early 2000s. I didn’t know back then but I’ve come to learn part of the cause of my families poverty was the results of rogernomics. The other reasons were mostly my parents bad decisions. However, I myself am now in my early 30s and have no children and have no intention of having children. The economic climate is not suitable for a working class person such as myself to reproduce. And it hasn’t been suitable for me and most of my generation Y/ millennials for well over a decade or at least since the GFC of 2008.
    I really don’t know how working class families cope these days if they don’t own a home. I look back at my grim childhood with some sadness but at least my parents owned their own home and were both resourceful people. Many these days are not. Many can’t fix their car or turn their hand to something that will help bring value to their lives. I struggle to understand why my parents wanted to have 8 children while living in such poverty but I cannot comprehend why any working class or beneficiaries would want to have children now. Surely even working for families is not worth the handout when you are struggling to keep a roof over you and your children’s heads. I really don’t know how these people can live like that. I struggle to keep a roof over my head and I am a single person with no dependents. Sometimes I feel extremely lucky even when it doesn’t seem like it. I’m grateful to be in the situation I am. Things could be far better for me but also far far worse.
    Terrible times indeed.

    • Recent statistics indicate NZ women are having far fewer children than in previous times -just 1.61 on average, which is way below the replacement level of 2.1. The population increase in recent years has been entirely due to immigration.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/18/new-zealand-birthrate-sinks-to-its-lowest-ever

      In view of what we are headed into, fewer children must be a good thing because it will mean less overall suffering.

      • AFKTT you confirmed exactly what my eldest brother told me yesterday about the birth rate. He is by far the most successful person in my family but he only has one child.
        I agree entirely why bring more people into the world only to suffer the further downfall of humanity, environmental destruction and climate meltdown.

  9. ” 4000 children in motels is not an answer to homelessness ”
    No, but it’s a great indication of how fucked in the head we’ve been convinced to remain happy with.
    We are fucked. Yes, we are. We’re more fucked than six fucked things on international fucked things day. Any dictionary? Ask any one of them in any language you can invent or genuinely know? Ask the question? Who’s the most fucked in the head people in the world? There ? See? We are.
    Here’s how fucked we are.
    Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. Right? Rio Tinpot O is staying there until 2024. The government’s excited because 900 people will remain permanently employed until they’re not again in 2024.
    There’s another reason for high excitement. Because; user pays. We have shareholders in our electricity generation which means that our government looks the other way while shareholders of OUR electricity make money because Rio Tin Pot Oh! is extorting electricity from us. But if Rio Fucked Off O it’d cause a glut in electricity. Now? One might ask? What does a ‘glut’ of electricity look like? Would it be shiny? Sparkly? Fizzy? One big spark from here to there?
    Because rio Tinto is exploiting our hydro electric generation capabilities ( At the enthusiastic encouragement of our traitorous gubbimint I hasten to add ) which makes fizzy sparks in short supply which means it must cost more for you and me to buy to use so as rich fuckers can pocket the dosh while 4000 kids live in beige prison…???. Is that fucked? Or not?
    People? Dumbsses? You.Are. Being.Fucked.And.Without.The.Kissing.
    The moment roger douglas was popped out of satan’s anus there was a thousand sketchy deals hatched on how to fuck us on the deal.
    One or two of us know that. Only one or two of us tho mind? The rest of you are dumbasses.

  10. So people do not have children.
    Then they get old and frail and cannot work.
    Who replaces them in the workforce? Not their children – they do not have any.
    All right migrants as has already happened in Western Europe where foreign born workers pay the taxes to support aged European people ( who often hate them for being foreigners).
    So if New Zealanders do not have children they are going to have to get used to the idea of continued migrants.
    Still climate change may well flood the country with climate refugees and destroy our existing society anyway. So maybe nothing to worry about because we are totally fucked anyway.
    Open another bottle.

  11. The whole emergency / transitional housing situation is a mess. There are no legal safeguards for tenants. MSD takes washes its hands of all stuff ups and says the private providers are wholly responsible. The private providers are incompetent, officious and power-tripping bullies who kick people out on the drop of a hat. Instead of reducing homelessness these monkeys are regularly adding to it. And because this Labour government recently removed emergency / transitional housing housing from the auspices of the Residential Tenancies Act there are no legal safeguards, which means the family or individual are back at MSD applying for emergency housing. The lack of legal protections is big problem, but so too are the monkeys MSD gives the contracts to. A lot of them just have no clue. What a great fucking system.

  12. 1. Land and facilities for those residing in the spare camper vans (land later used for new housing developments when builders are available).
    2. Land for small factory built (nationwide consent formula, including some built offshore) mobile or at least easily moveable homes
    3. easier consents for granny flats (see2)
    4. easier subdivision (see 2)
    4. help to iwi and local councils for social housing for those retiring from urban area employment
    5. encourage partnering the aged and alone with live in support.
    6. allocating 3 bedroom homes to 2 solo mothers with children of the same gender.
    7. allocating 4 bedroom homes to 2 solo mothers each with 2 children.
    8. supporting the moving of homes (that would otherwise be demolished) off land being used for new developments to new placement (such as empty Kainga Ora land).

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