Big increase in local housing concerns
In recent weeks I have spoken with constituents in several parts of our city who are worried that state houses are being built in their neighbourhoods on small sections and with no consultation with long-term residents.
Some have reported anti-social behaviour by tenants which appears to be condoned despite causing distress and anxiety for neighbouring families and senior citizens.
It is never acceptable for anyone to abuse or intimidate their neighbours, or wilfully damage the accommodation provided to them, and there must be appropriate consequences for the few who do.
The vast majority of tenants are responsible and respectful of their neighbours, and it’s vital that social housing is available throughout the country to cater for the needs of those for whom home ownership is out of reach.
Everyone needs somewhere suitable to live. That’s why the last National-led Government introduced our Housing First policy, which has been particularly successful in Hamilton through The People’s Project.
National’s position has long been that it isn’t necessary for the Government to own and bear all the costs for building and maintaining social housing, as there are other agencies well positioned to provide them without all of the costs falling back on hardworking taxpayers.
Nevertheless, the previous National Government built more than 3200 state houses and left office with more than 27,000 homes in the development pipeline.
What is important is for social houses to be accessible, fit-for-purpose, well-maintained, healthy and affordable. For all of their grand announcements about KiwiBuild and more social houses, the current government has failed miserably in both of these areas. KiwiBuild has been an expensive disaster, with only a few hundred of the promised “100,000 homes in a decade” built in the last three years.
Meanwhile, the waiting list for new state houses has sky-rocketed under Labour’s watch, with about 15,000 families now waiting for state houses because of this Government’s inability to build houses, and meddling in the rental market. It’s another example of their talent for making big promises but failing to deliver.