Housing NZ under fire as homeless crisis surges

Housing NZ under fire as homeless crisis surges

The country's shame over the current homeless crisis has seen major public outcry, and the focus is now turning to Housing New Zealand.

There are currently more than 2500 Housing New Zealand homes sitting empty, with the Government looking at selling around 530 of its state properties.

The house at 100 Sidlaw St in Strathmore, Wellington is a two-bedroom state house with a heat pump and insulation. It boasts a massive front yard, all-day sun and "commanding views". Well, at least that's according to the sales pitch.

"This is a developer's dream, so yes the Government could make money, but are they going to invest it in other social housing elsewhere?" says Liza Lorenzen, who lives next door.

Ms Lorenzen is furious Housing New Zealand is selling the property.

"If a developer bought this house or a first-home buyer invested and made this property better, it would raise the value of our own house. But we're appalled because it's a Housing New Zealand house and we know people want houses."

The waiting list for social housing in Wellington has increased from 180 in March 2015 to 211 in March of this year. But Housing New Zealand says those people don't want this house.

The nationwide wait list has dropped by 200, but there are still 4500 cases. There are 2500 state homes currently empty and 500-odd heading for the market. It's got people like Ms Lorenzen asking questions.

The house in Strathmore will go to auction next month. Housing New Zealand says it's looking at building more than 100 new units in Wellington City, but construction will take time.

So for those on the housing register, the wait continues.


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