Nothing to see here – no idea and no solutions from National on housing

The Government’s admission that it has “no idea” how much it will spend supporting New Zealanders with emergency housing demonstrates how disconnected its multiple housing Ministers are from the reality of New Zealand’s housing crisis, says the Public Service Association.

“Paula Bennett’s comments today demonstrate a total lack of planning and a worrying reluctance to listen to the experts,” PSA Acting National Secretary Kerry Davies says.

“Bennett also conceded that National’s response to the housing crisis has been ‘too slow’ – something that our members working in the field have been warning them about for years.”

“PSA members are seeing the impact every day of a lack of adequate housing on the people they’re supporting, and this is placing undue pressure on them to perform miracles.”

“Ironically, many of our members working in these agencies are experiencing major housing difficulties in their own personal lives at this point.”

The PSA has surveyed its members in Auckland, Wellington and Waikato/Bay of Plenty about the personal and professional impact of housing crisis, and will reach out to Christchurch members next.

“We have received around 8000 stories from our members, which range from the heart-wrenching to the totally enraging,” Ms Davies says.

The PSA will shortly release a book exploring solutions to the housing crisis as a sequel to its well-received book, Progressive Thinking: Ten perspectives on tax, which outlined the issues in New Zealand’s tax policy and practice.

“This Government’s head-in-the-sand approach to housing – both social and private – has made finding solutions increasingly difficult,” Ms Davies says.

“In an election year, we need to think bravely and realistically about how to fix this.”

“We will ensure Ms Bennett receives a copy of our book.”