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$200m spend on ‘homelessness’ no solution to rental shortage

$200m spend on ‘homelessness’ no solution to rental shortage

The $200 million allocated to Housing First today has no plan for extra housing and is welfare dressed up as solving the housing crisis, Tenancies War spokesman Mike Butler said today.

The $200-million is for 1000 people over four years, or $961 per person per week. It is unclear whether this is on top of or includes any payments from Work and Income that recipients may receive.

“We have a housing shortage. A check on the Housing First website reveals that all they do is place their clients in dwellings leased from private rental property owners,” Mr Butler said.

“Housing homeless without building more housing means that current renters would be displaced and this is no solution to a housing crisis, he said.

Housing First includes the Auckland City Mission, Link People, Comcare Trust, Te Taumata O Ngāti Whakaue Iho Ake Trust, and Lifewise.

Since it was formed in March 2017, Housing First says it has housed 922 people, including 436 children.

“During that time, I’ve housed more than 100 people without a government grant of $961 per person per week”, Mr Butler said. “So have hundreds of other private rental property owners.”

“We are still waiting for a meaningful response from this government to the housing crisis,” Mr Butler said.

“Housing Minister Phil Twyford founded the New Zealand branch of Oxfam. This funding looks like money for his mates in the charity sector,” Mr Butler said.

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