Hutt Social Housing waitlist hits new record
Chris Bishop - MP for Hutt South
24 October 2019
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 August 2019, 439 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.
“Just last month the number was 415, which itself was a new record. The waitlist in the Hutt was 152 in March 2017, so the numbers have trebled In two and a half years.
“Every week my office in the Hutt deals with heart-breaking stories of families trying to get into housing. Housing in the Hutt is getting worse, not better.
“The facts are depressing:
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
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.
“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.
“Labour’s April 2017 promise to build 400 additional houses and units in the Hutt Valley before the end of 2020, costing between $200,000 and $350,000, has come to absolutely nothing.
“Today’s figures represent a big challenge for the new Council and Mayor, and the government. The Hutt Council needs to get on with densification around public transport corridors, facilitate new land for housing, and build the necessary infrastructure and transport links to develop new housing. I look forward to working with the new Council as they grapple with this challenge.”