INDEPENDENT NEWS

Social Housing Off Government’s To-do List

Published: Tue 2 Apr 2024 02:00 PM
The Coalition Government’s refusal to commit to ongoing funding for social housing is seeing the sector pull back on developments and families watch their dreams of securing a home fade away, says Labour Housing spokesperson Kieran McAnulty.
“Community housing providers are pausing developments on new public housing places because the Government won’t commit to funding for Income Related Rent Subsidy past June 2025. The Salvation Army, for example, has had 70 desperately needed homes kiboshed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development,” said Kieran McAnulty.
“This uncertainty is not only affecting Community Housing providers – it is putting the entire social housing build programme at risk. During the Annual Review into Kainga Ora last month, officials explained that the Luxon Government commissioned advice from Treasury that said if no funding is provided post 2025 then Kainga Ora will need to sell 10,000 social houses.
“Kainga Ora have cancelled projects, community housing providers are pulling back and building consents are falling rapidly. This impacts families in desperate need of housing as well as local tradies and apprentices who are losing work as a result.
“Despite repeated questions, in question time, written questions and at the Annual Review in Select Committee the Government still won’t make any commitment to fund the subsidy, which would increase the number of public housing places, and go great lengths to lower the waiting list of families who are waiting to be placed in a home.
“The Government have made a lot of promises when it comes to housing, but at the end of the day they’re making things worse. The lack of certainty is stalling the momentum Labour had built in social housing and the construction sector.
“There’s a simple fix here - do what Labour were going to do and confirm the funding, give community housing providers the certainty they need, give families in need hope that they’re finally get a home and keep tradies in work.
“They didn’t wait for the budget to announce $2.9b tax cut for landlords, so they shouldn’t wait until the budget to announce funding that will actually help people,” Kieran McAnulty said.

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