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Hutt Social Housing waitlist hits new record

MP for Hutt South Chris Bishop has released new figures showing the social housing waitlist in the Hutt Valley has hit a new high.

As at 31 July 2019, 415 clients in the Hutt were ranked Priority A or B on the Social Housing Register, which records people who are eligible for social housing but currently not placed. Priority A and B are people in the most urgent need of social housing.

The Social Housing waitlist in the Hutt has increased from 152 in March 2017.

“Today’s numbers remind us yet again that housing in the Hutt is getting worse, not better.

“As a city we need to get serious about facilitating more housing. The Hutt is experiencing the agony of 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.
• 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.
“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.

“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.”

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