Government must build more public houses, not find excuses to sell them

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

The Green Party says the Government must use the review of Kāinga Ora as a platform to build more homes, not an excuse to sell them off.

“History is repeating itself: a National-led Government is once again trying to create social licence for the sale of our public housing stock, at a time when new housing is absolutely essential,” says Green Party Housing spokesperson Tamatha Paul.

“Public housing is as essential as public healthcare and education. Aotearoa is in the midst of a housing crisis and the Government needs to back Kāinga Ora to keep building desperately needed houses rather than micro-managing.

“Time and time again, this Government has shown us how much it favours the interests of landlords and property investors over renters and households who are struggling to make ends meet. Now they are gearing up to put public housing in the too-hard basket, with an arbitrary focus on short-term finances, rather than a commitment to use public housing to end homelessness and guarantee everyone a decent place to live.

“Public housing is a crucial part of ensuring we don’t have gentrified, segregated communities, and that our neighbourhoods reflect the make-up of our wider society, culturally and economically.

“In the past, our country’s leaders made a conscious decision to house everybody and put an end to urban slumlords by building public housing at scale. We can make that decision again but we must resist the sale of public housing at all costs because it will have consequences for generations to come.

“Public housing has become a safe haven for many young families, seniors, disabled people and those living with complex needs. When housing is treated as a public good it can provide a stable home without fear of discrimination, unfair evictions or unforeseen rent increases. This is based on the view that housing is a human right.

“We should be building thousands of new homes and confirming crucial ongoing funding like Income-Related Rent Subsidy placements. Our communities deserve better than a Government rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic,” says Tamatha Paul.

/Public Release. View in full here.