Coronavirus: KiwiBuy campaign chair's plea to Government to resume housing projects during lockdown

Major Campbell Roberts says housing construction should be classified as an essential service.
Major Campbell Roberts says housing construction should be classified as an essential service. Photo credit: Getty

A veteran housing advocate is calling on the New Zealand Government to resume housing projects during the coronavirus lockdown, and classify them as essential infrastructure.

COVID-19 has put a hold on all housing projects across the country, including much-needed social housing facilities.

KiwiBuy Campaign Chair Major Campbell Roberts says we already had a crisis before the global COVID-19 pandemic, and we have now reached breaking point.

Social workers are struggling to house people, and Major Roberts expects demand to increase in the coming weeks.

As more people lose their jobs, they will soon be turning to social housing, he says - and there simply is not enough, with another 50 units now having been delayed.

Major Roberts is urging the Government to bolster its funding for social housing projects, in an effort to cushion the blow for New Zealand families affected financially by the coronavirus outbreak.

He says when the 12-week wage subsidy comes to an end, the increase in need is likely to shoot up.

Newshub has approached the Housing Minister for comment.