Massive spike in at-risk people waiting for a state house

Never before released data shows there has been a huge increase in the number of people in severe need waiting for a state house, National’s Housing spokesperson Nicola Willis says.

At risk applicants on the housing register are ranked on a scale of 1-20, with ‘A-20’ being the most at risk. These are people with high health needs or domestic abuse victims who desperately need a home.

Ms Willis says the data she has obtained through written questions shows the number of people in the top three risk categories has gone from 57 people in December 2017, to 2100 today.

“In December 2017, only three people met the criteria for highest risk, and on average they waited less than a week to be housed. Today that number is 198, and they’re now waiting an average 207 days for a home.

“This data proves what those working with New Zealanders in need have been saying for months – more and more people are being squeezed out of the private rental market and we have more Kiwis than ever, classified as at severe risk, desperately waiting for a home.

“The waiting list is growing four times as fast as the Government is building houses. This is hopeless.

“The Labour Government and its housing policies have failed these New Zealanders. It needs to get all hands on deck focused on building homes for those in need, including community housing providers and private developers.

“The simple fact is Kāinga Ora can’t keep up, it’s time to call in reinforcements.

“The Government must stop imposing more costs on private landlords prevent people from going onto the state house waiting list in the first place.

“Labour now has a litany of failed housing policies behind it. It should admit defeat and adopt National’s Emergency Response Bill to release more land for housing with the urgency required.

“Otherwise we will only see this list grow with more Kiwis in desperate need of a home.” 

WPQ 25305 (2021): number of people B8-A20 from 2017-2021

WPQ 25295 (2021): median wait time for people B8-A20 from 2017-2021