Hutt Housing: The Facts
16 August 2019
MP for Hutt South Chris Bishop is today releasing a variety of statistics to show the desperate state of housing in Lower Hutt.
“The facts around housing in the Hutt are sobering, and things are getting worse, not better.
“For the first time in a generation, Lower Hutt is growing. Our population is now estimated to be 106,000, an increase of over 7,000 compared to just six years ago. Population growth should be applauded; but sadly our housing supply has not kept pace with that growth.
“As a city we need to get serious about facilitating more housing. We’ve seen big rent increases, homelessness, a record number of people waiting for social housing, and decreasing housing affordability.
“Here are the facts:
• The average rent in Lower Hutt on 1 June 2019 was $452 per week, up from $372 on 1 June 2017 – an increase of $80 in just two years.
• In June 2019, there were 404 priority A and B clients on the Social Housing Register, up from 152 in March 2017. These are people in the most urgent need of social housing, but who can’t access it.
• Over $1 million was paid in emergency housing grants (funding for motel accommodation) in the March 2019 quarter; up from $134,000 in the March 2017 quarter.
• Only 16 HNZ bedrooms across 4 units have been built since the 2017 election.
• In June 2015 the average house in Lower Hutt cost $377,000. In June 2019 the average was $596,000 – a rise of $220,000 in just four years.
“It is disgraceful that in a city as wealthy as Lower Hutt, the government is spending over a million dollars each quarter to house people in motels. We can and must do better.
“The Government and the Council need to act now.
“National announced funding in 2017 for the “Housing First” homelessness programme in the Hutt but it has yet to roll out.
“And in 2017 National announced a master plan for developing the empty sections in Epuni; yet over two years later nothing has happened.
“Labour hasn’t even come through on its own promises: in April 2017 it promised to build 400 additional houses and units in the Hutt Valley before the end of 2020, costing between $200,000 and $350,000. This appears to have come to absolutely nothing.
“Every week people come into my offices in the Hutt and Wainuiomata in desperate need of secure and adequate housing. Things are getting worse not better and we need action now.
“With Council elections coming up in the next couple of months housing will be a big issue and candidates should be prepared to answer the hard questions about how they will rapidly grow housing supply in the city.”