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Homelessness - action needed, not just talk - MANA

MANA - Election 2011

Reference: MANA's full Housing policy can be viewed online at http://mana.net.nz/policy/

Homelessness - action needed, not just talk - MANA

MANA condemns National's inept and uncaring approach to homelessness.

'It is way past time Governments in this country took the problem of homelessness seriously,' says MANA Housing spokesperson Sue Bradford.

'Homelessness isn't just about people sleeping rough in central Wellington and Auckland.

'It is a much bigger problem than that.

MANA knows that homelessness is also about all those adults -and children - who are living in inadequate, substandard and/or overcrowded accommodation, including boarding houses, cars, sheds, garages and tents, in both rural and urban areas.

'Things were bad enough under Labour, but have got a whole lot worse under National, with its unilateral cutting of state housing lists, the withdrawal of Housing NZ support workers, and with wages and benefits which are in many cases too low for people to afford rent.

'MANA supports a full Government inquiry into the true levels of homelessness, taking into account all forms of it, including people who are constantly shifting just to find a roof over their head for the night.

'However, inquiries are not enough - we need action, now.

MANA calls for:

Ongoing, regular quality research into true levels of homelessness.

The development of an effective national housing strategy based on the facts, and which includes the NZ Coalition to End Homelessness goal of ending homelessness by 2020.

Legislation which makes it a duty of Government to ensure everyone is housed in safe, secure and affordable accommodation.

Boosting the role of Housing New Zealand in meeting housing need by building 20,000 more state houses in the next two years; and by increasing HNZ's role in providing emergency and supported housing to meet particular social, health and disability needs.

Introducing a major papakainga housing programme, which works to overcome in sensitive, practical ways the many current barriers to building on Maori land, including through providing greater access to capital.

Increased state support for whanau, hapu and iwi, and other community based housing providers who provide quality social housing for those in need in their local rohe.

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