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Govt at fault for social housing waitlist increase

Govt at fault for social housing waitlist increase

The Government’s axing of tenancy reviews and lack of support for social housing tenants wanting to move out of Auckland is ramping up pressure on the social housing waiting list, National’s Social Housing spokesperson Simon O’Connor says.

“Housing Minister Phil Twyford seems surprised by the increased number of people waiting for social houses, with the number up 26 per cent to 7890 in just the last three months, but he shouldn’t be because his Government’s policies are partly at fault.

“In what is the latest example of this Government’s muddled thinking and counterproductive policies, it has cancelled the Auckland Relocation grants which had seen 500 social housing tenants shift out of Auckland to areas with less pressure on social housing.

“And he’s parked state house tenancy reviews which were seeing around 500 tenants a year moved into community or private housing because they no longer needed that level of support, with many going on to buy their own homes.

“These were practical and effective solutions which were freeing up hundreds of houses in Auckland for people who needed it more and ensuring houses match tenant needs and support was targeted and taxpayer cash not wasted.

“Instead, this Government has thrown them out and decided to throw more cash at the problem when more money alone isn’t the answer.

“Let’s not forget this is on top of axing the previous Government’s social housing reforms which were making more places available, Phil Twyford’s KiwiBuild hoax and the clamp down on foreign investment and immigration which are all contributing to a slowing rate of house building.

“What the previous Government had in place was working. We were in the middle of New Zealand’s largest ever residential building boom to increase housing supply, we’d invested heavily to make more emergency and social housing spaces available – as evidenced by almost 500 more spaces coming available in the last quarter and we were providing more support where it was needed.

“The Government is going backwards with people waiting longer for help and its only solution is to throw millions more dollars at a problem and take years longer to deal with it.”

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