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Surge in emergency housing grants reinforces need for action

Figures obtained by Kāpiti Coast mayoral candidate Gwynn Compton under the Official Information Act show that Emergency Housing Special Need Grants from the Ministry of Social Development’s Kāpiti Work and Income region nearly doubled between 2017 and 2018.

“In the past two years we’ve had applications on the Public Housing Register more than double, consents for new dwellings reach their lowest level for the 12 months to March since 2016, Council-owned houses sold, and now emergency housing grants nearly double from 153 grants totalling $122,854 in 2017 to 299 grants totalling $229,905 in 2018.

“All of this is being driven by housing and rental affordability in Kāpiti that is worsening faster than the New Zealand average and a lack of any action from Council to try and address it,” says Mr Compton.

Gwynn Compton says that the surge in Emergency Housing Special Need Grants reinforces the need for Kāpiti Coast District Council and central government to urgently work together to address the region’s housing and rental affordability crisis.

“With Kāpiti in the midst of a housing crisis and families being squeezed out of our district, it is simply not good enough that the recommendations of the Kāpiti Coast Communities Housing Taskforce continue to be sat on by Council nearly two years after they were presented to them,” says Gwynn Compton.

“Kāpiti needs a mayor who’ll show real leadership on this crisis and not just cross their fingers and hope a solution will magically present itself. Nationally, only five percent of new houses delivered will be priced at or below an affordable level. It’s clear we need to partner with central government and work with developers to urgently increase the level of affordable and social housing in Kāpiti, as the situation is poised to only get worse when Transmission Gully opens and puts even more pressure on our limited housing stock.

“We have the basis of a strategy to start addressing the housing crisis thanks to the Kāpiti Coast Communities Housing Taskforce, but Council has already wasted two years doing nothing with their ideas. I’ll make sure we start to implement their recommendations, as well as getting the government to recognise that Kāpiti needs to be one of their priority areas for increasing the supply of both affordable and social housing.”

© Scoop Media

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