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Minister commissions stocktake of NZ's housing crisis

Minister commissions stocktake of New Zealand’s housing crisis

Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford has commissioned three of New Zealand’s leading experts to provide an independent stocktake of the housing crisis.

“For too long, the previous Government refused to accept the housing crisis and establish the scale of the problem we face,” says Minister Twyford.

“For instance, it was only once the Labour-led Government came to office that we learned MBIE’s official figures show a nationwide shortfall of 71,000 houses and that projections show house building would fall if not for KiwiBuild.

“The previous government never acknowledged or accepted the official numbers, and also refused to accept its own official definition of homelessness.

“Shamubeel Eaqub, Philippa Howden-Chapman, and Alan Johnson are among New Zealand’s foremost experts on housing. Their insight will be invaluable.

“This report will provide an authoritative picture of the state of housing in New Zealand today, drawing on the best data available. It will put firm figures on homelessness, the state of the rental market, the decline of homeownership, and other factors in the housing crisis.

“The Labour-led Government is already pushing ahead quickly with initiatives to make housing more affordable and healthy, including banning overseas speculators, passing the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, cancelling the state house selloff, and setting up KiwiBuild. This report will help the Government refine and focus that work where it is most needed.

“I have instructed officials to provide the experts with any and all information they request. The years of spin and denial are over,” says Phil Twyford.

The report will be due before Christmas.

Note:
· Shamubeel Eaqub is a respected independent economist and commentator, and author of Generation Rent.
· Philippa Howden-Chapman is Professor of Public Health at Otago University. She has led groundbreaking research on the health impacts of cold, damp housing.
· Alan Johnson is Senior Policy Analyst for the Salvation Army and author of The Salvation Army's State of the Nation report, which highlights effects of the housing crisis.

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