Paula’s brain fart policy a total waste of time and money

I made it up, so what...

So far, there have been 12 successful applications for the government’s $5000 grant to move out of Auckland.

No sign of this actually freeing up 12 properties for the homeless to move into.

The policy began a month ago and was aimed at helping people in, or waiting for, social housing in Auckland to leave the city by giving them up to $5000.

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett said the policy was off to a good start.

“Although it is still early days, I am pleased to see people are taking up the offer of help,” Mrs Bennett said.

The 12 non-recoverable grants would help support 32 people.

Six were moving to private accommodation with the other half moving to social housing in areas including Invercargill, Rotorua, Tokoroa, and Tawa.

One applicant was homeless and four were in emergency housing.

“I’m particularly pleased to see that five applicants are moving to jobs,” Mrs Bennett said.

“We introduced this grant to remove the cost barrier for people who may want to move to cheaper regions where they may have family and other support networks, but simply cannot afford it.”

A further 10 applicants had their relocation grants approved but were still working on confirming moving dates and shifting costs, the minister said.

A total $54,508 had been paid out so far, covering moving costs, bond, rent in advance and letting fees.

I’m sure it’s cool to feel like you can make a difference for these people, but the actual objective of this policy was to ease the housing crisis in a significant way.

The problem was that Paula Bennett just made up a policy on the hoof, just like Labour does, and it wasn’t costed, researched or otherwise padded out to deal with all the possible questions.

Moving 10 households may be an achievement for a charity, or a local branch of the Salvation Army, but for a central government department, it is an inefficient way to provide solutions.  Just to train staff, create the paperwork, the systems to admin and track these people would have cost many times in excess of the $54k handed out, and all to free up ten properties that may not even been made available to the homeless but simply absorbed by the Housing New Zealand waiting list.

National is very lucky that Labour are such a bad opposition.  This kind of ‘governance’ and reacting under the minimum of pressure from the Media is extremely poor, and we can but hope lessons have been learned.



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