National’s motel bill is out of control

The number of families needing Government’s new emergency housing grant has blown out, showing National is out of touch on the scale of the housing crisis, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.

“Bill English and Paula Bennett clearly have no idea how many Kiwis are being affected by the housing crisis.

“They expected 1,400 homeless families to need grants to pay for a week’s accommodation in a motel. In the first three months, MSD issued nearly 9,000 grants covering 2,600 families. They expected the cost to be $2m a year; it was $8m in three months.

“It’s an indictment on Bill English, who sold so many state houses, that huge numbers of families now being put up in motels because there’s no real housing for them. This is New Zealand – we shouldn’t be forcing any families to live in motels.

“Labour will build state houses, not sell them. We’ll end Bill English’s practice of stripping hundreds of millions of dollars of dividends out of Housing New Zealand.

“Clearly, National have no understanding of the scale of the housing crisis and how many families are homeless. It’s another cock-up from a government that has a long list of failures on housing. It’s time for a government with a plan.

As we have seen, you can’t just whip up a bunch of houses.  The only thing that National can do is stuff people into motels between now and the election and hope they can keep the nasty statistics down.  That said, this isn’t a huge vote loser for National.

Expect Labour to be grinding away at this however.  Paula Bennett did a terrible job until she was “promoted” away from the portfolio before election year, and National remain exposed.

 


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