Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle of a housing crisis with over 3000 families in absolutely urgent need of housing. “When such families are living three to a house or in garages, cars, vans and cockroach-infested caravans then the government should declare a state housing emergency and begin an urgent state house building programme”, said MANA Movement co-vice President John Minto.
“It has to be the government rolling up its sleeves because nowhere in the world at any time have property developers built quality, affordable homes for low-income families. The best “the market” provides is a cardboard shack on the side of the road as happens in many other countries and has already begun in New Zealand”, said Minto. “Transferring state houses to the “social housing sector” is NOT the answer because it doesn’t increase the housing stock for low-income families.
We refuse to accept the government can wash its hands of responsibility.” “Successive Labour and National governments have underfunded state housing for three decades at the same time as pursuing economic policies which have driven more families into poverty and in need of state housing.” “The mass privatisation of state housing is a government priority. Fighting that policy will be a MANA priority.”