The latest figures from the Ministry of Social Development continues to show a Government losing further control of the housing situation, National’s Social Housing spokesperson Simon O’Connor says.
“The figures for the June 2019 quarter shows in cold, hard detail that the Government continues to fail in its promise to fix the housing problem.
“The number of Emergency Housing Special Needs grants has almost doubled, with more than 14,000 more grants given out. This represents 14,000 more Kiwis and their families struggling to get by than the same time last year, all the while with a Government saying it is making New Zealanders’ lives better.
“But it is clearly making things worse.
“The total cost of these grants has increased by almost 230 per cent compared to last year. In the June 2018 quarter, just over $10 million was spent on Kiwis in need, compared to more than $34 million in the most recent quarter. That’s an increase of more than $24 million.
“National believes in helping those in need, but it’s clear here the Government has no plan other than spending more and more money on these temporary grants.
“The so-called ‘Wellbeing’ Budget all but admitted the Government doesn’t think its housing policies will make a difference, allocating more than $118 million in the coming years to cover the cost of increasing housing grant demands.
“Finally, these latest figures show the average cost of each grant has gone up $300 in just one year due to higher rents which have been driven up by more regulation and tax changes.
“The cost of living has dramatically increased under this Government, and more and more New Zealanders are struggling to put a roof over their heads. The Government is making it harder for our most vulnerable New Zealanders to make ends meet.”