(Media Release)

Labour’s disgrace – the housing catastrophe for low-income families rolls on…

There are no excuses — there is nowhere to hide – there are no fig leaves. Labour’s disgrace is in plain sight.

The latest figures for the state house waiting list were released late last week and no amount of fudging or dissembling can hide the fact that Labour continues to preside over the largest explosion in the state house waiting list in the history of New Zealand – AND IT IS DOING NOTHING ABOUT IT.

No wonder these figures were released three months late. They are horrendous. They are shameful.

The state house waiting list has increased five fold since the 2017 election which brought Labour to power – from around five thousand to over 25,000.

There were 25,524 applicants on the Housing Register as at 31 December 2021, an increase of 13.3 percent from the same time last year (i.e., December 2020)

If there was ever any doubt that Labour governs for the corporate and the comfortable it is the graph above.

Māori are just over 50% (50.6%) of the wait list while Pasifika families are 15.3%

Covid-19 is NOT to blame.

The problem is with Labour government policy settings which pretend there is no catastrophe.

• Labour has continued building and funding state houses at the same rate as the previous National government – 1600 places per year. This is for 25,524 tenants and families living in desperate housing conditions!

• Labour policy is to keep state house number at 3.6% of the total housing stock (the same as National) rather than increase it to its 1990 level of 5.4%

Labour wants struggling families on low incomes to continue paying the mortgages of middle-class landlords through unaffordable rents.

And to fund the miserable number of houses Labour is building, it is forcing Kainga Ora to sell crown land. This is the largest privatisation of state assets by Labour since the 1980s.

Housing Minister Megan Woods should hang her head in shame.

John Minto

National Convenor, State House Action Network