INDEPENDENT NEWS

Debbie Ngarewa-Packer Calls On Government To Introduce Targeted Māori Housing Package

Published: Wed 7 Apr 2021 02:46 PM
Te Pāti Māori Co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer is calling on the Government to introduce a targeted Māori housing package in response to figures which show that homeownership is becoming increasingly unattainable for Māori.
“The housing crisis is hitting Māori communities harder than anyone, and yet the Government’s recently announced Housing Package doesn’t include any specific policies targeted at increasing Māori homeownership. This is unacceptable,” said Mrs Ngarewa-Packer.
“Pākehā have net worth almost five times higher than Māori, while non-Māori have a 13 per cent higher median wage. This disparity in wealth and income is locking Māori out of the housing market. Māori homeownership rates have been falling since 1999, and in the latest Census Māori individual home ownership fell to 26 percent, compared with 41% for non-Māori.
“In response to my questions in Parliament today, the Government failed to show that they are on top of Māori housing needs and don’t have a dedicated and targeted plan to increase Māori homeownership.
“I am calling on the Crown to recognise the severe disadvantage that Māori face in the housing market and immediately introduce a Māori housing package that includes targeted financial support schemes to help with deposits, such as the old Māori Affairs loans in the past. They also need to address supply through building thousands more social and affordable houses.
“For many of our whānau, finding an affordable home, let alone owning their own home, is currently completely unattainable. It’s disgraceful that more than 11 thousand Māori are currently on the Social Housing Register waiting list, 49.6% of the entire waiting list.
“Current data indicates that 30% of Māori pay rent that is over 30% of their weekly income – which is an indicator of household poverty. To alleviate this pressure, the Māori housing plan must include rent controls and intersect with other crucial policies such as lifting incomes for our poorest whānau through raising the minimum wage to $25 an hour and significantly increasing baseline benefit levels,” said Mrs Ngarewa-Packer.

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