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Govt admits defeat on Social Housing in Botched Budget

The Botched Budget has revealed the Government has no solutions to the increasing state housing waiting list and the exploding numbers of people needing emergency housing help makes a mockery of its so-called wellbeing focus, National’s Social Housing spokesperson Simon O’Connor says.

“The Government has spent almost three times as much money this year on Emergency Housing Special Needs Grants as it anticipated just one year ago. National believes in providing for those in need, but this substantial and increasing spend on emergency housing grants shows the Government’s initiatives are failing.

“What’s more the Government is budgeting for a massive cost blow out in the upcoming years of $100 million more each year than what had been budgeted, showing the Government already admitting defeat when it comes to helping Kiwis into homes.

“With more than 11,000 New Zealanders already on the waiting list for a social house, the increase in funding for hardship grants shows the Government is admitting the waiting list is unlikely to get smaller.

“As a consequence the Government will need more than $400 million over four years to provide for those still waiting for a state house, compared to the $82 million needed under National.

“A real wellbeing budget would take steps to address the growing need for a state house, instead of throwing more money at maintaining problem. Housing Minister Phil Twyford has talked up his Government’s housing policies, but it’s very clear he doesn’t expect them to make a difference.

“The high spend on emergency housing grants shows a Government aware it will not be able to substantially reduce the social housing waiting list.

“The Government talks big about wellbeing, but KiwiBuild, its state housing programme, and the Botched Budget paint a very different picture – its policies are failing and they expect even more Kiwis to be waiting for a home.”

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