Housing NZ funding crisis due to govt’s "complete incompetence", PSA says


The government must urgently commit to a total rethink of its housing policy, the PSA says - after Treasury officials admitted Housing New Zealand will run out of cash in just over 3 months’ time.

Treasury officials warned Mr English that Housing NZ would run out of money by February next year, and the organisation could require a completely new funding model.

Officials say the rent collected from state houses was not enough to cover tenants’ needs, and Housing NZ will struggle to increase its housing supply in areas of highest need.

"This represents appalling mismanagement by the government, and should be of grave concern to all New Zealanders," PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says.

"This situation will be desperately worrying to people living in state housing - who can’t now be sure if broken windows, leaking roofs or electrical faults will ever be fixed.

"This is either a deliberate strategy by the government to run down the value of its assets before privatising them - or complete incompetence in managing a core public service."

The transfer of 2800 state houses to the Tamaki Regeneration Company had contributed to the funding crisis because $34 million in rent was now going elsewhere, Mr Barclay says.

"Housing NZ’s dire financial situation makes a mockery of the government’s claims it’s providing Better Public Services to New Zealanders.

"Any Kiwi household that managed its books like this would have the bailiffs at the door.

"Our members are doing the best they can to help vulnerable families, but they can’t do their job properly in these crisis conditions.

"We call on the government to immediately guarantee Housing NZ sufficient funding to cover all its tenants’ needs - and to commit to a total rethink of its housing policy.

"National’s Social Housing Reform Programme has clearly failed, and New Zealand’s most vulnerable people must not be left struggling."