The Public Service Association welcomes the government’s announcement it will invest $300 million in transitional housing, and says union members will want to make the plan a success.
The campaign for housing justice is a key priority of the PSA, with members across the country reporting they struggle to afford rent or mortgage payments.
“When a public servant tries to help someone put a roof over their family’s head, they don’t want to stick them in a motel. They certainly don’t want that to be a long-term response,” says Glenn Barclay, PSA National Secretary.
“Our members are hopeful that the news will mean that there are more and better options available to help those in need, and we are looking forward to helping with the implementation of this plan. As always we encourage the government to involve frontline staff in all discussions about how to make this work.”
In 2017 the Public Service Association published a book about the housing crisis, compiling analysis from ten New Zealand experts to argue for a progressive and transformational response.
With the 2020 election approaching, the union believes housing will remain at or near the top of the list for issues of public concern.
“Public servants are all too often the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff in our social crisis, and after decades of skyrocketing inequality and neglect there are broken families and desperate people all over this country,” says Mr Barclay.
“We all pay the costs, both financial and social, when people are forced to sleep rough or endure unhealthy substandard housing. It makes people sick, impedes their ability to work and harms the learning abilities of children at school. We are thrilled to see positive steps being taken to improve this situation.”