Urgently increasing the supply of state and papakāinga housing now will address what the Salvation Army calls a housing ‘catastrophe’.
“We support the calls from the Salvation Army for an urgent increase to the supply of housing to ensure everyone has a warm, safe, accessible home, especially those on the housing waitlist,” says Ricardo Menéndez March, Green spokesperson for Social Development & Employment.
“This catastrophe is not a natural phenomenon; it is the consequence of political decisions. All it takes is the political willpower to change the futures for thousands of whānau who need warm, dry, affordable homes.
“The Government needs to explore options for urgently increasing state housing supply, such as an in-house construction team for Kāinga Ora or a new building products State Owned Enterprise.
“When whānau are unable to afford food or power after paying for skyrocketing rents, we need to be doing more than just slowly lifting welfare support.
“The Salvation Army confirms what people on the benefit have told us – families on the benefit are struggling and are the most likely to live in poverty. If the Government is serious about addressing child poverty, they need to further lift benefits so no family goes without.
“Freeze rents now, massively increase the construction of accessible public housing, and tax wealth accordingly to provide actually liveable income support.”