Labour now thinks motels for emergency housing ok

Now they are facing the realities of housing shortages in Government Jacinda Ardern and Phil Twyford have switched to supporting the use of motels for emergency housing.

RNZ: Govt’s use of motels ‘morally irresponsible’ – housing advocate

The government has announced it will spend $100 million to try to tackle homelessness and provide emergency housing.

That is badly needed to try to alleviate a dire housing situation.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it would be irresponsible to not make use of motels and hotels because there was so much immediate need.

“That remains a very quick option and, in the time we had available, still remains on the table but of course there a number of other options we favour over that,” she said.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford said of the 1500 extra housing places the government was delivering, 115 were long term motel stays.

They allowed for flexibilty if there was a spike in homelessness, particularly with winter approaching, he said,

“No one likes the idea of the government spending money to put people up in hotels but if we have to do that in order to ensure people have a roof over their heads we will,” he said.

Sounds fair enough and quite sensible. But it is a change of view since switching from Opposition to Government.

Stuff last October: Emergency motel stays starting to decline, but still cost govt $97k a day

New figures from the Ministry of Social Development show that in the last three months $8.96 million was given out to cover short seven-day motel stays for families or individuals in dire need. The money made up 9159 grants and several families claimed the grant more than once.

This is a drop on the previous three-month period of April-June when a record $12.6m was spent on 11,446 grants.

Outgoing social housing minister Amy Adams said the numbers had peaked mid-year.

“While we’ve spent a lot in the last quarter we’re also seeing that that has peaked now, and there are some really pretty good signs that that is dropping, which is exactly what we expected,” Adams said in July.

“This is exactly what we wanted to happen but it takes time to build 1400-odd transitional houses, and the motel grants have been a way for us to bridge that.”

House building does take time, especially the finding of suitable land and getting consents, and also given the dire shortage of housing in Auckland in particular and the shortage of builders and tradespeople.

Labour’s Phil Twyford, likely to be Housing Minister by the end of the week, could not be reached for comment.

 

Further back, a statement from Twyford in July: English out of touch on homelessness

Bill English’s comments that he doesn’t know why people are complaining about the blowout in the number of homeless families the government is putting up in motels just shows how tired and out of touch National is after nine years, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“New Zealanders are rightly outraged that National is selling off state houses while spending $50m a year dumping families in need in motels. They’re stunned that National is so out of touch they thought they would be spending just $2m a year on motel rooms, when the problem is 25 times that size.

“New Zealanders know that every family needs a home, a permanent roof over their heads. Shunting kids from motel to motel, week to week, is no solution.

“Labour will stop National’s state house sell-off and stop sucking profits out of Housing New Zealand. We’ll build thousands of state houses for families in need, alongside our KiwiBuild programme to build good starter homes for first home buyers.

“Last week, we learned that New Zealand has the worst homeless rate in the developed world, and National’s response was to quibble about definitions. They have no ideas, no solutions, just excuses.

“National’s legacy is the worst housing crisis in the world. It’s time for Labour’s fresh approach to make sure that every Kiwi has a decent place to live,” says Phil Twyford.

The ‘fresh approach’ looks like more of the same.

Ardern in April last year: Motel buy-up bad policy

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says National continues to underestimate the size of the housing crisis.

“After particularly the likes of Te Puea Marae and the amazing work they did last winter, we thought the government would be more prepared, unfortunately they haven’t been and now we’re in a situation of buying hotels. I accept that we want to do everything we can to house people, make sure they’re warm, dry have a roof over their head but it makes much more sense for us to have permanent state housing and social housing rather than paying private moteliers a lot of money,” she says.

Now winter is looming and there still aren’t enough houses Twyford and Ardern are biting the motel bullet.

And now, as well as conceding that motels are necessary to fill housing gaps, a novel approach – Govt appeals to public to identify rentals, marae and land which can be used for homeless

The Government is appealing to the public to provide houses and land to help solve New Zealand’s homeless problem.

It promised today to invest $100m into tackling homelessness, by increasing short-term and long-term housing options and increasing funding for social services.

Rehousing people from the street or temporary housing has been complicated by the lack of available or affordable housing, especially in Auckland.

That led the previous Government to start renting motels to house the homeless. Labour criticised this at the time but admitted today that it needed motels until more homes were available, and has put aside $8m for this purpose.

After announcing the funding today, Housing Minister Phil Twyford pleaded with the public to identify properties that could be used for emergency shelters or pop-up homes.

“We can’t do this alone,” Twyford said. “If you know of properties that might be available over winter, such as seasonal worker accommodation or private rental homes, we’d like to hear about those.

“We’d also like to identify small land options suitable for temporary housing with power and water connections ready to go, such as marae and private land.”

Property owners would be paid market rents, he said; they were not expected to simply donate properties.

“If there’s a massive surge over winter, we need to have those other options in our back pocket.

There was never going to be a quick fix to the housing shortages.

66 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  May 5, 2018

    not selling off state houses,is a ‘fresh approach’.See why the Nats stood by and watched rampant property inflation.Buy a section for $2.4 mil,build,all up $5.7 mil ,4 years later sell for $20 mil and retain a slice equal to the initial outlay.Can’t make money like that….being a ..hardworking..Kiwi!

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  May 5, 2018

    There’s never going to be any fix for housing problems so long as regulation strangles the market. And Labour’s interventions to date have just increased costs and reduced supply.

    • Blazer

       /  May 5, 2018

      a free market would fix it …quicksmart.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  May 5, 2018

        Of course. Supply would meet demand and competition would reduce prices.

        • Blazer

           /  May 5, 2018

          no,billions in subsidies being withdrawn,would correct supply and demand.Competition in property increases prices these days.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  May 5, 2018

            There is only competition in demand. Supply is strangled.

          • billions in subsidies

            Rinse and repeat 10x for our future green energy….revolution.

    • Notice that these ‘housing shortfalls’ are in areas controlled by labor oriented councils ?

  3. Gezza

     /  May 5, 2018

    Twyford hasn’t impressed me but I actually give him marks for going to the public & asking if any of you can, can you please help. We don’t expect you to do it for nothing, but we really, truly don’t want any of NZ’s people without homes over Winter & we’re not too proud to beg.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 5, 2018

      Why does the Government have to intervene here between supply and demand?

      • Gezza

         /  May 5, 2018

        Same reason National did.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  May 5, 2018

          Exactly. Nothing has been fixed.

          • Gezza

             /  May 5, 2018

            It’s one month from Winter. What’s your immediate solution?

            • Trevors_Elbow

               /  May 5, 2018

              You should join the Labour Party as a candidate Gezza. Your slogan could be “Winter is Coming!!!”

              Now I think of it wasn’t one of those spear slave dudes in Daenerys army called Gezza????

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 5, 2018

              Send Labour MP’s to a re-education camp in Waiouru for the winter.

            • Gezza

               /  May 5, 2018

              Nope. I wouldn’t join any of our poltical parties Trevor. What I am saying is Labour has made housing the homeless and ensuring no one goes without a roof over their a prioridy. So they have to show they are doing everything they can possibly think of to demonstrate their integridy over this. If that includes begging & it turns up more housing options for the Winter, good on them from the perspective of actually housing some people who need it over the Winter, & smart move politically. I’m not poltically tribal.

            • Gezza

               /  May 5, 2018

              Contrast Twyford’s efforts to effect at least a temporary Winter housing solution with Sir Alan’s drivel just above. Which is the most practical in strictly objective terms?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 5, 2018

              Mine would free up enough swanky accommodation to house several hundred homeless for the winter. I bet Twyford’s won’t.

            • Gezza

               /  May 5, 2018

              Your suggestion to send Labour MPs to a re-education camp in Waiouru for the Winter isn’t going to happen, so it’s not going to have the result you predict, so it’s snarky pathetic drivel. You know it. I win again.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 5, 2018

              Twyford’s pathetic last minute effort is just PR flack. You lose for supporting it.

            • Gezza

               /  May 5, 2018

              Too slow. And too late. You know the rules.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 5, 2018

              Some of us have jobs to do before rescuing you from swallowing Labour’s PR claptrap.

            • Gezza

               /  May 5, 2018

              Still whining?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 5, 2018

              No. Just dined.

  4. David

     /  May 5, 2018

    And so far Labour havent freed up any of the restrictions to freely build, Auckland council are increasing development contributions by 30%, foreign investors no longer welcome so no apartment blocks will be built, landlords being smacked around so going to greener pastures.
    If you keep knocking parts of the market, like the oil and gas announcement, there are consequences. Twyford could do what National never did and let the market loose and keep the taxpayer funds for schools and hospitals not running a lottery system dressed up as Kiwibuild.

    • Blazer

       /  May 5, 2018

      save billions by ending the accomodation supplement,effectively a subsidy to landlords…as well David?

  5. NOEL

     /  May 5, 2018

    “Send Labour MP to Waiouru in the winter”
    And accommodate them where? In tents or the back of cars?
    ww.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/8187076/Solid-Waiouru-Defence-Force-houses-up-for-tender

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 5, 2018

      Those were 1950s army personnel houses. Probably illegal to rent out under Labour’s new regulations. Certainly illegal to build now.

  6. Pity isn’t it that the nats offloaded (to themselves largely) thousands of state homes, land banked, bulldozed, cleared away basically for gentrification. ANd in the meanwhile feathering motel owners’ nests & enslaving the already poor to in some cases $80K debt. Could’ve loaned that to the woman concerned to buy her own house. Total mismanagement in favour of the predatory corporates.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 5, 2018

      Selling an expensive property provides funds to support more families in average properties. Common sense that the Left like to ignore.

      • The common sense that’s ignored is, you replace those with the lower cost housing then, you don’t park them in motels and leave them with crippling $80K debt. The only folk benefiting that system are the money lenders and the property developers who are currently profiteering big time off a system that is all but gifting them former state owned assets.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  May 5, 2018

          Let’s create a shortage of rental properties by making life tough to impossible for landlords and developers. Then we can complain about all the homeless people we have produced. And milk the taxpayers to provide some cheap rental housing at a huge loss.

          • PartisanZ

             /  May 5, 2018

            An example of Cart-before-the-Horse or more correctly ‘Cartel before the House’ thinking …

          • LOL “tough for developers” …Great idea Alan. These people are EXCELLENT at mismanaging taxpayer funds. Witness NZ’s current debt of $93 billion, witness the DCs’ current obscene debts up & down the land. Yes, keep these well paid CEs in control of the public purse.

            • I’d like to see you mortgage yourself to the back teeth and expose yourself to the market. Beer and skittles it aint

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 5, 2018

              Debt numbers are meaningless until compared with asset and income values. Apart from that your comment is just an irrelevant rant.

            • And your bankerspeak is a highly irrelevant rant IMO Alan. I remember when NZ had no debt, full employment & no homelessness. What ended all that? Bank loans. Don’t bother replying, I’m clearly on the wrong forum here. Note to self.

            • Blazer

               /  May 5, 2018

              @Trav…could have fooled me.When you talk about your property investments,they appear very lucrative….’very much so’.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 5, 2018

              Yes, you are on the wrong forum here, Pam. Here you are expected to have a clue about what you are talking about. Best go to a Lefty one where you don’t.

            • David

               /  May 5, 2018

              “I remember when NZ had no debt, full employment & no homelessness.”

              Strange for you to remember a time that never existed.

            • Blazer

               /  May 5, 2018

              take no notice of them Pam.They are narrow minded,straitjacketed….robotic ,right wing ranters.

            • Thank you Blazer. I am used to forums where people at least respect each other & don’t resort to personal attacks.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 5, 2018

              There was nothing personal in my comments, Pam. They were solely directed at the nonsense you are spouting. Likewise David’s. You can run away or respond with a reasonable and informed case.

          • Blazer

             /  May 5, 2018

            landlords have leg ups galore…tax offset,accomodation welfare subsidies,negative gearing….onerous letting terms…

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 5, 2018

              If that were true you and I would be landlords.

            • PartisanZ

               /  May 5, 2018

              That would be true if you and I and Blazer were motivated by nothing other than money …

              Some people aren’t. Some people just want a home … not a bunch of houses to rent to exploit the prevailing colonial economic ethos of our society …

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 5, 2018

              Hardly PZ. You don’t have to be motivated by money to want security and an easy life. If Blazer’s fantasy were true half the population would be landlords and if the market were allowed to operate properly there would be enough landlords to satisfy the demand for rentals.

            • PartisanZ

               /  May 5, 2018

              Your inane belief in Von Hayek, Von Mises, Friedman & Co’s Darwinian fairy-tale, brutally inhuman economics is endearing Alan, if nothing else …

              As you Righties so frequently say, “Where in the world is this totally ‘free market’ capitalism actually operating successfully?” …

              And if not … Why not?

              And if its always and forever regulated … Why?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 5, 2018

              The housing markets work well in Houston and Dallas with light regulation and badly in California and New York and NZ with heavy regulation. Simple as that.

      • Blazer

         /  May 5, 2018

        what about selling state houses at 38% of valuation,with the clause ..that you have to rent it back for 25 years.

    • PDB

       /  May 5, 2018

      The state house sell off was a beat-up. In most cases houses sold were in areas that people weren’t using them or in order to develop even more state housing, especially where a previous house had sat on a large block of land.

    • You serious? Do you have any idea how much AirBnB has impacted on Motels? Never met wealthy motel owner but seen a few struggling along to pay themselves a living wage.

      Also your point re gentrification, that’s asinine. National has started on a long overdue process to rationalise and vastly improve the Housing stock and distribution. The GFC, subsequent developer stranglehold and AKL Council taking forever to sort it’s District Plan out has been an enormous contributor to the situation. Only someone deeply partisan and with little knowledge of contributing factors could make such statements.

      • To PV

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  May 5, 2018

          The houses were as Pants says, and Pam Vernon’s remarks about National doing what may well be a criminal act are total nonsense. Why on earth would they sell something on the open market at prices like some of the ones we have heard about when they could have sold them at mates’ rates ?

          The houses were empty and some had been for a very long time. Why not sell them and use the money elsewhere ? If Pam Vernon has evidence of crooked deals, she should go to the police and dob the crooks in, If she hasn’t, she shoulf stop slandering the National government.

      • Blazer

         /  May 5, 2018

        do you have any idea who caused the GFC….the lot you admire…thieves,parasites and charlatans…thats ..who.

  7. PartisanZ

     /  May 5, 2018

    Personal political agendas dictate we must blame “the previous National government” or bureaucrats or whoever, but the current so-called ‘housing crisis’, IMHO, is actually the predictable long-term outcome of austere-welfare-neoliberalism and the development of the FIIRE economy …

    The fakery of so-called ‘deregulation’ allowed massive leaky homes developments to happen, while maintaining Capital Gains tax incentives to safely gamble in banking, building on and renting out property, further fanning the FIIRE of ongoing property speculation – which essentially has always been the basis of this country’s colonial economy – and leaky homes plus local government growth & greed & responsibility has led to cautious over-regulation …

    Fifth Labour ‘managed the FIIRE economy on behalf’ in much the same way Fourth and Fifth National did, although GFC external circumstances and the earthquakes played a greater role in Fifth National’s management … almost certainly leading, perhaps justifiably, to even greater caution and regulation …

    Meantime the very same economic paradigm has increased inequality and created a growing poor and homeless under-class in Aotearoa NZ society …

    Everyone since Rogerednomics has let this boat drift because doing so is the only way to make Aotearoa New Zealand’s economy ‘appear’ or ‘seem’ healthy …

    The same government ‘economic’ policy that has eviscerated the motel industry now feels responsible for filling those motels … so things ‘seem’ healthy … and lo-and-behold … the same successive governments have created the perfect clientele to fill them with …

    • PartisanZ

       /  May 5, 2018

      To make this a debate about Labour or National, Left or Right, is to renounce thought …

      • PartisanZ

         /  May 5, 2018

        It can only be a debate about who runs government …

        And we know one thing, that ain’t the people!

        • Gezza

           /  May 5, 2018

          Where is there a government of any country that is run by the people?

  1. Labour now thinks motels for emergency housing ok — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition