Kind words won’t get kids out of living in cars

The Government needs to take responsibility for the fourfold increase in the number of kids registered as living in cars under their watch and get these kids into housing, National’s Housing Spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“Labour made a lot of noise in opposition about kids living in cars. Jacinda Ardern said in 2017, ‘I refuse to stand by while children are sleeping in cars’.

“Except ‘stand by’ is exactly what the Prime Minister and her Government has done in the last five years. The problem has only got much worse under Labour’s watch. There are now four-and-a-half times more Kiwi kids registered as living in cars since Labour took office

“The number of kids recorded as living in cars when they apply for the Housing Register has increased from 51 in December 2017 just after Labour came to power, to 228 in June this year.

“It is heartbreaking that any child in New Zealand is having to go to sleep in a car every night. But kind words and good intentions won’t get kids out of living in cars and into houses.

“There are also significantly more people living in tents, homeless shelters and boarding houses under this Government.

“Labour will blame everyone and everything else for this escalating problem, but they’ve been the Government for five years now and what these kids need from them is a roof over their heads.

“So far, this Government has failed to deliver on every housing measure. Labour has overseen record increases in rents and the number of people living in motels, while their flagship housing policy, Kiwibuild, has been a colossal failure.

"It’s no wonder there are more kids and families forced to live in cars.

“While Labour stands around and points the finger, more kids will be going to sleep at night in a car. The Government needs to stop making excuses and take action.”