Calls for Kiwibuild funds to be put toward social housing, affordable rentals

Calls for Kiwibuild funds to be put toward social housing, affordable rentals
Photo credit: Getty.

A major housing trust says the Government needs to put a great focus on social housing and affordable rentals, instead of first home ownership.

It follows the announcement on Friday by Housing Minister Phil Twyford of an extra NZ$100 million to tackle homelessness.

Bernie Smith from Monte Cecilia Housing Trust told Radio LIVE Drive it is a positive move for people who would have been sleeping in cars this winter.

However, he says the NZ$100 million is a drop in the bucket compared to the funding earmarked for Kiwibuild.

"By spending so much money on first home ownership, social housing and affordable rentals will miss out and that is where the biggest need is," he says.

Mr Smith wants the NZ$2 billion earmarked for KiwiBuild over the next ten years to be split in three.

He proposes a third going toward increasing the supply of social housing, a third toward affordable rentals and the last third going to homes for first home buyers.

"National did a dump [of funding] in the emergency housing end, now we’ve got Labour talking about doing a dump in the first-home ownership end, with a smattering of extra social houses in the middle,

"[By splitting the Kiwibuild money] three ways you’ve got a whole pipeline that can meet needs right across the housing continuum."

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