Labour to charge emergency housing residents quarter of income

The Government has been labelled callous for its plan to charge people in emergency housing a quarter of their income as rent.

This comes as Labour faces questions over what it will do to solve New Zealand's housing crisis.

Poverty advocates are warning demand for emergency food is about to spike due to the Government's new proposal.

The Government plans to charge rent for those using emergency housing for longer than a week. 

The rent will equate to 25 percent of the family's income and will come into force two days after the NZ election on October 17.

Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Brooke Stanley Pao said they think it's a "really cruel and inhumane policy to introduce".

Emergency housing temporary accommodation in hotels, motels or with private landlords for people who are homeless.

Labour's struggled to make inroads on housing with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ruling out a capital gains tax while she's in power. She's also conceded Kiwibuild has disappointed.

In the last two years, the Government built 548 Kiwibuilds, 3178 statehouses and the wait list for state housing quadrupled to nearly 20,000. 

Ardern has admitted there is a housing crisis.

"I do believe so long as we have people who are struggling with housing then I would say we have a significant housing need," she said.

National's solution is fewer compliance costs on landlords and ripping up the Resource Management Act, deputy leader Gerry Brownlee said.

"RMA's done its day. We need two new bills to replace it to make it a lot more simple."

COVID-19 has taken some of the focus away from the stubborn problem of housing, but it's an issue that affects everyone every day and is an important issue for voters.