Labour’s Emergency Housing Plan

Yesterday Andrew announced the first of three housing policies, on emergency housing. It addresses a topical issue but it’s difficult for an opposition party to deal with an emergency when they are still over a year away from an election.

The housing situation may or may not have changed substantially once the next coalition gets into power, and there’s no guarantee Labour will be a part of it.

As posted by on July 07, 2016:


There are 4,200 New Zealanders sleeping rough or in cars at any one time. Because of insufficient emergency housing, it takes the Government over 155 days on average to house a homeless person.

No New Zealander should be homeless. We’re a better country than that.


Labour will take serious action to end homelessness by investing an additional $60m over four years in new emergency housing places so that families living in cars or on the street will have a roof over their heads.

Labour believes in a housing first approach, and that ideally individuals and families should be housed in stable and permanent accommodation in the first instance. Right now, there’s a housing crisis. We need immediate accommodation options while we get on with the job of building more homes.

NGOs acquire emergency housing by building or buying accommodation. The $15m a year of additional funding will provide 1,400 new beds – an increase from 800 at present to 2,200.

That is enough places to help an additional 5,100 people per year.

Typically, people are homeless for a period of a few months – there is a considerable flow of people in and out of homelessness. This new supply of emergency housing will be enough, over time, to support the homeless population into permanent housing. Labour’s commitments to build more state and affordable housing will mean more permanent housing is available for them.

Unlike the Government’s recent announcement, which only funds existing emergency housing, this policy will increase the number of beds available through community providers.

Labour will work with NGOs to help homeless people stay housed and access the services they need.

The Government must support the work of emergency housing providers by making sure essential wraparound services such as addiction, mental health and budgeting are made available.

This emergency housing policy is part of Labour’s comprehensive housing plan, which includes: 

  • Building more state houses and maintaining them properly, rather than selling them off.
  • Requiring all rentals to be warm, dry, and healthy to live in.
  • Building thousands of affordable homes for first home buyers.
Leave a comment


  1. Oddly there is no post on this at The Standard yesterday and only very brief comment.

    Andrew Little has fallen into the same trap as Bennett by referring to the need to increase the number of “beds” for the homeless. How patronising is that? Guess it’s to be expected though, from the party for the workers – meaning those with jobs, that is.

    That was posted by Chris yesterday afternoon and I can’t see anything since.

  2. Blazer

     /  8th July 2016

    the voters couldn’t care less about this policy.It is a worthwhile one all the same.

    • Gezza

       /  8th July 2016


      • Kitty Catkin

         /  8th July 2016

        It’s a badly thought out one. What if the houses are built and then not needed ? Why should the country’s taxpayers pay even more tax to enable Aucklanders to buy cheap houses ? What about the druggies and such people who may well not even WANT a house ? Or who would have no idea how to look after one ?

  3. Brown

     /  8th July 2016

    As usual there is nothing about requiring desperate people to not trash or contaminate houses supplied to them.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  8th July 2016

      Tut, tut, don’t be so unPC ! Don’t raise awkward questions !

  4. unitedtribes2

     /  8th July 2016

    “The $15m a year of additional funding will provide 1,400 new beds ”

    1400 beds with 5 beds to a house would make 280 houses for $15m costs each house at $53714.
    I must be missing something, help.

    • Like National some of their numbers are deceptive on emergency housing.

      The average stay in emergency housing is 3 months, therefore they multiple numbers of beds by four to say how many they have provided for in a year.

      • unitedtribes2

         /  8th July 2016

        So we now need 70 houses = $214,000 each house ! I searched all of NZ on trade me and found 2. I think Im still missing something.

  5. PDB

     /  8th July 2016

    Labour – a problem – throw more money at it – problem not fixed – repeat……


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