18 Feb 2024
Our public housing system is at breaking point with yet another record high number of New Zealanders waiting for a state house, National’s Housing spokesperson Nicola Willis says.
The latest figures just released for the month of February show there are 23,259 people waiting for public housing, four times as many as when National left office. On average, people will wait 183 days to be housed, an increase of 14 days when compared to the previous month.
“These are Kiwis classified as ‘at risk’ with a ‘severe and persistent housing need that must be addressed immediately’,” Ms Willis says.
“Roughly half of those waiting for a home are families with children.
“While it’s good to see many of the public houses National planned in Government are now being built, it’s not enough to keep up with the surging demand. In just the past year the wait list grew by 7523.
“The state house waiting list is exploding because more and more Kiwis are being priced out of the private market as rents surge and construction fails to keep up with demand.
"These families need homes, and currently the Government's only solution is to put them in motel emergency accommodation.
"This Government is already spending $1 million a day on housing people in motels, and it is deeply concerning to see in this latest update an increase in the number of people receiving emergency housing, reaching 5034.
“With the cost of living and rents continuing to rise many New Zealanders are struggling to pay their bills, and moving into state housing has become a last resort.
“These latest monthly figures mark the 26th consecutive month that the waitlist has increased. It is simply out of control, and the Government doesn’t know how to stop it.
“National has proposed constructive solutions to address the root causes of New Zealand’s housing emergency and unlock a surge in new house building.
“We have a plan to require every major city and town to immediately remove restrictions locking-up land and stalling intensification, while also giving councils the cash injections they need to deliver a much-needed surge in new house building.
“National will continue to put forward constructive ideas to address this country’s housing shortage.”