Waitlist for state housing has doubled in past two years

Waitlist for state housing has doubled in past two years
Photo credit: Getty

The number of people waiting for a state house has more than doubled in the past two years.

There are now 7890 households waiting for a state house, plus an additional 1805 households waiting to be transferred from an existing public house.

Two years ago, there were just 3549 households waiting to be homed.

The bulk of demand for public housing is in Auckland, where 3286 households are waiting to be housed - making up 42 percent of those wanting to be placed in a state house.

In the last quarter alone, the number of people waiting for housing has increased 26 percent, figures released today show.

For the 1568 applicants housed since December, it took an average wait time of 64 days - six days longer than the average wait in December.

The Government spent $570 million on housing support in the three months ending March 31, 2018. Most of that cost was the accommodation supplement, which is a weekly payment to help people who are not in state housing pay rent or the cost of owning a home.

That's closely followed by the income-related rent subsidy. Most tenants in public housing pay rent of no more than 25 percent of their income, with the Ministry of Social Development subsidising the rest.

Housing quarterly report.
Housing quarterly report. Photo credit: MSD

Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said it will take "bold action" to tackle the housing crisis.

"We want every New Zealander in need to have a warm, dry, safe accommodation, especially over the coming winter months," he said in a statement.

"At this time of year no family or individual should be living in a car."