Over 12,000 people still waiting for social housing

The Government says it recognises the demand for housing continues to rise as the wait for social housing sky-rockets again.

In total, 12,311 people remain on the waiting list for state and community-provided housing.

The list has grown from 11,067 since March, statistics from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development suggest.

Housing minister Megan Woods said the demand was driven by a shortage of supply, inadequate housing, homelessness, and insecurity of tenure.

"We will continue to build more public houses and make sure people move into them, and off the Public Housing Register as soon as possible.

"By exceeding our target of 1600 additional public houses this year by 578, more New Zealanders now have a place to call home, and where they feel safe and secure."

The Government says it's the biggest increase in the number of public houses in about 20 years.

"One of our first actions in Government was to stop the sell-off of statehouses," Woods said.

Over 12,000 people still waiting for social housing
Photo credit: File

"We're proud to have done that, and now to have boosted the public housing stock to support thousands of New Zealanders."

Housing New Zealand also has about 2000 homes under construction or under contract.

Woods said Housing New Zealand's stepped-up build programme is delivering more homes that are designed and built to "modern standards".

"Registered Community Housing providers are also making a significant contribution to increasing public housing supply."

The National Party says it's a "sad indictment" on the Government's housing policies.

"Things will not improve until the Government stops desperately trying to blame its failings on the previous Government and starts taking responsibility for the fact [that] its policies have driven New Zealanders out of their homes," a spokesperson for social housing Simon O'Connor said.

It should be celebrated however that the Government delivered the biggest increase in public houses in about 20 years, New Zealand Council of Trade Unions president Richard Wagstaff said.