Government spends $12.6m on emergency housing in three months

The Government has spent $12.6 million on emergency housing grants in the past three months.

If current spending continues, they'll need almost $50 million for a year's worth of grants.

Labour is putting the blame firmly on the selloff of state housing. Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said "National is spending $140,000 a day putting homeless families in motels, the legacy of nine years of selling off and knocking down state houses."

"The cost has risen by two-thirds in just half a year, from $7.7m in December to $12.6m in June. National had budgeted just $2m a year but are spending nearly $140,000 a day."

When it was first announced in May 2016, the Government allocated just $2 million a year for emergency housing grants.

In the first quarter that it was measured, they blew that amount by four times in just three months.  

The Green Party said it's a sign the housing crisis is only getting worse. 

"More and more New Zealanders do not have enough money to put a roof over their family's head, food on the table, or be able to pay the power bill," social development spokesperson Jan Logie said.

"The housing crisis is National's legacy and it's a shameful one."

Government spending on emergency housing since measurements began:

  • December 16 quarter: $7.8 million
  • March 17 quarter: $8.8 million
  • June 17 quarter: $12.6 million
  • Source: MSD

The Government has been contacted for comment.