Emergency housing plan 'poll-driven panic' – Winston Peters

  • 08/11/2016
State housing (Getty)
State housing (Getty)

NZ First is describing the government's $300 million emergency housing announcement as "poll-driven panic" while Labour accuses it of policy theft.

Prime Minister John Key announced on Monday 1400 extra emergency housing places would be created, and the money includes a $100m loan for Housing NZ.

Rental subsidies will account for $71m, and $102m will be given to community providers to help tenants into more permanent housing.

NZ First leader Winston Peters says the government has panicked under opinion poll pressure.

"National has got the drift that middle New Zealand is feeling uncomfortable that thousands of innocent Kiwis are in hardship," he said.

He also slammed Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett.

"She's flogging off state houses, and then wonders why the headlines are about people living in garages, on the streets, in cars and caravan parks."

Labour's housing spokesman, Phil Twyford, says the government is copying his party's policy.

"National has announced funding for an extra 1400 emergency housing places, exactly what Labour announced back in July," he said.

"But there's no substitute for building houses ... the real solution is to stop pushing people off the cliff in the first place."

But the Salvation Army is welcoming the announcement, saying it will help organisations like itself provide emergency housing and related support services.

"Emergency housing is needed, it's a shame there isn't enough permanent housing but at least this is a response in terms of emergency housing and we are grateful for that," Salvation Army spokesperson Major Campbell Roberts says.

He hopes the new funding is just the beginning of addressing the housing crisis:

"The Government needs to do more in terms of making sure that there is the permanent housing solutions and that we have safe and secure rentals that people are able to make the step into home ownership."

NZN / Newshub.