Government spends $48 million in 3 months on grants for people in dire need of accommodation, as number of grants issued increases 5-fold in 2 years

Government spends $48 million in 3 months on grants for people in dire need of accommodation, as number of grants issued increases 5-fold in 2 years

The number of one-off grants issued to people in desperate need of accommodation is soaring. 

According to new Ministry of Social Development figures, the number of Emergency Housing Grants issued increased five-fold in the past two years.

Meanwhile the value of grants issued jumped more than seven times, as the cost of housing people in temporary accommodation like motels increased. 

The amount spent on Emergency Housing Grants jumped from $6.57 million in the December 2017 quarter, to $19.83m in the December 2018 quarter, and $48.13m in the December 2019 quarter.

The Ministry issued 6,172 grants in the December 2017 quarter, 15,676 in the December 2018 quarter, and 30,941 in the December 2019 quarter.

Emergency Housing Grants are classified as Special Needs Grants, which are one-off payments made to those who have immediate or emergency needs and who have no other way of paying to meet those needs.

Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni acknowledged high housing costs are behind the jumps.

Median price - REINZ

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Meanwhile the number of Food Grants (which are also Special Needs Grants) issued more than doubled between the December 2017 and December 2019 quarters to 307,291.

National’s Social Housing spokesperson Simon O’Connor said the figures were “damning”.

“The public housing waiting list is at a record high because the Government’s poor housing policies have forced families out of their homes,” he said.

“Many motel owners are feeling the pressure of having to accommodate large numbers of homeless Kiwis.

“We’re in this mess today because the Government’s poor policies have scared off landlords and driven up rents by more than $50 per week.

“Landlords are leaving the market because the Government imposed more costly regulations and threatened a Capital Gains Tax. It also extended the bright-line test for selling and ring-fenced tax-related losses on rental properties.”

It’s worth noting National introduced a two-year bright-line test and won’t commit to reducing the test from the fives years this government’s extended it to, should it be elected into government. (See this interview with Judith Collins for more on National's position on housing).

“National will prioritise our most vulnerable Kiwis by throwing our weight behind community housing providers and introducing a target to reduce the time it takes MSD to house Priority-A clients on the social housing register,” O’Connor said.

Sepuloni said: “I want to ensure that people are able to access their full and correct entitlements and that’s what you’re seeing here.

“We are stabilising people’s situations, putting a roof over their heads, meeting their immediate needs so they can focus on getting into work. 

“At any given time, we have many families, often with high needs and complex situations that are waiting for public housing. This is why the Government has already delivered 3,830 public housing places with another 1800 places under construction this financial year.”

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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126 Comments

Comment Filter

Highlight new comments in the last hr(s).

What a competent government!

[Removed. A completely unnecessary / unsavoury response. We don't need retorts like this. Ed]

And so say all of us!

I know from an irrefutable source that xingmowang is a stooge introduced by Interest.co to fire up debate. His real name is Bartholomew Henry Enslope-Jones, an aristocratic Englishman, whose job it is to energize blogs by taking controversial extreme positions likely to spur those taken in to over-react. He is a sometime friend of Prince Harry and Megan. I have, in the past, occasionally seen him in woman's magazines' photo shots skulking around the edges of the Queen's garden parties, inveterate snob that he is.

Wrong! Reincarnated from Grytpype-Thynne, or then again, perhaps Minnie Bannister.

Which government - the current one or those of the past - all are equally to blame - both National and Labour

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The graph clearly shows NZ shitting itself from Dec 17 in terms of emergency housing when Labour came in? :) This is what happens when the government makes every unfortunate person feel like they are victims of something and tell them they are entitled to get cheap/free housing, free money and free food from the taxpayers :D

"what happens when the government makes every unfortunate person feel like they are victims of something and tell them they are entitled to get cheap/free housing, free money and free food from the taxpayers"
New Zealands get up and go, just got up and went :))) no backbone and no determination the country will be completely stuffed if we keep going down this track. Allowing the poorest specimens to breed should be banned (tongue in cheek comment)

Indeed, this sort of largess brought us the beneficiaries John Key and Paula Bennett! Meanwhile, we keep on making welfare queens of the owners of 300,000 rental properties benefiting from the Accommodation Supplement... (As well as the other boats benefiting from the rising tide.)

But if you also look at the chart of median rent it has been increasing as well. Is this controlled by the government. The situation is not of this governments making. It is a cumulative failure of past governments poor policy decisions. Or is this just to much on an inconvenient truth.

COL policies are the main reason for rents increasing. Not all landlords are good we know that. But this dumb govt alienates the genuine ones and takes a stick to all landlords. That is part of the basis for the comment from stev-o

Can you actually prove that or are you making a broad generalization. The comment make's it sound as though landlords are a "victim" of the government. NZ is heaping bad policy on bad policy on more bad policy. Will it stop - doubtful ( nor will anyone stop trying to blame ).

Ha no landlords are not victims. Landlords ARE a target of negative COL housing policy by a left wing govt hellbent on improving the housing stock (good thing) but also swaying the power balance (bad thing). Landlords are not victims they are benefactors of unintended yet very predictable outcomes. The best thing renters can do is to get themselves into a house... short term and long term buying is cheaper than renting. Not look to govt to "sort" out the problems

"Power balance" - what power balance - that sounds like someone is losing - losing what (anyway things change). You seem "hell bend" on blaming the government of the day , rather than looking at the the governments of the past 30 / 40 years.

Rubbish HW. Rents were rising well before the COL came to power. They have risen with the increase ion house prices. Multiple governments are at fault here and the CoL no less than the others.

You say its rubbish murray, is that something you just "know instinctively" For the record: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/407962/rental-prices-rise-fastest-in...
"Twelve of the country's 15 regions had rent increases in December with many experiencing double-digit rises.
Southland and Nelson/Tasman saw the largest jumps after the median weekly rent rose 15.3 percent to a new high of $340 per week and 13.4 percent to a record $465 per week respectively. Rents in Northland ($450) and Taranaki ($425) also reached new highs"
Rents are rising at very fast rates so I stand by my statement that the best thing a renter can do is get themselves into a home and not wait for govt to "fix" the problems. Govts stuff it up more so than not.

Do you have any data to show that the rental stock is decreasing? (I.e. from fleeing the horrid "war on landlords!")

At least we have data to show that population is increasing, thus increasing demand.

Unless this drop off in rentals has happened in the last 6 months, then here's an article that suggests the number of rented households increased by 15,400 in the year to June 2019.
https://www.interest.co.nz/property/100565/statistics-nz-estimates-numbe...

What the graph shows is an exponential curve (of need).

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Cause costs for landlords, tighten regulation, and then gape in wonderment as the increase in rents and decrease in supply, squeezes the least able to cope, out onto the streets, and into the tender arms of Nanny State.....who could Possibly have predicted this outcome?

14
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someone still lives in the house rented or not.

But on average a larger number of people move out than move in, when rental is converted to owner occupied.

Got any actual specific data to back that up? Not generic figures for owner occupiers vs renters, but for the actual people moving at the margins. Owner occupier stats are well skewed by all the empty nesters living alone in big old 3 and 4 bedroom places until they kick the bucket or get packed off to the rest home. Then the FHB family that buys their place moves out of a rental and into house, and mostly its one family unit out of a rental, and one family unit into the new place. There are some mostly young childless couples that stay flatsharing until they buy, but I suspect its nowhere near as common now that the amount needed to buy takes so much longer to save.. by the time they hit their 30s most stable couples don't want to share a flat.

And then you have student accommodation. When my wife was at Teacher's College she flatted in a 7 bedroom house and there were plenty of her peers in similar accommodation arrangements (4+ bedroom places). Very rarely do these houses come up for sale, and I don't think someone in their first year of a Uni Degree is looking to buy a house. Yet, I'm sure these household compositions go towards the "rental" ratio numbers.

Plenty of my peers (myself included) went from flatting from age 18 until around 24 - 26. Serious relationships kick in and you can't be arsed with flatmates so these couples go out and rent 3 - 4 bedroom places to themselves.

Good point about the student accommodation.

Oh the poor private sector landlords. They have it so tough. Some of them have to install a heatpump or some insulation. How dare this government be so mean to them. Especially after that nice Steven Joyce was so kind in the 2017 Budget. Giving them another $500m/year in Accomadation Supplement payments to go with the $1000m/year they already get...

Biased sarcasm brendon

Um, pretty much everyone outside of the Coalition circle-of-stupid? Painfully obvious to anyone with even half a clue (obviously excludes coalition supporters) that making life harder/more expensive for landlords has negative consequences on availability that will be most strongly felt at the bottom end of the market.

So a few landlords having to fork out a few thousand dollars (for stuff like heat pumps and insulation that adds value to their properties) to make their rental accomadation habitable drives landlords out of the market but landlords receiving an additional $500m a year since 2017 in bigger accomadation supplement payments does not attract any new landlords into the industry?
That is not a rational argument.
And what is the bigger effect? The one-off upgrade cost to heat, insulate and ventilate rentals to a habitable standard that some landlords have to pay or receiving an additional $500m every year in accomadation subsidies from the government?

It is not "a few thousand" but you wouldnt know that sitting there in pompous land

Houswworks are you really claiming that private sector landlords have to spend $500m a year to comply with the governments Healthy Homes regulations? I would like to see that evidence.

If you cannot provide that evidence then it is clear that the increase in the Accomadation Supplement was more stimulatory to the private rental sector than the costs imposed by new government regulations. Which BTW is obvious to any reasonable person considering this issue. Not just pompous people.

A few thousand is just one heatpump or even less and I know a HP is not mandatory. There are much more costs and you dont have a clue about that, you've never done any real work in your life. You sit there making wide ranging statements about what is good for other people.... you should be a politician.

Do you seriously think that every year landlords are spending $500m on heat pumps and insulation. That is such utter BS.
Insulating the person is also a sign that you have lost the argument. As many people know on this website I am a registered nurse working in a psychiatric hospital. I consider it a real job...

If you dismiss my argument and claim it is BS you should at least give reasons not just your vague bias. Yes a registered nurse working in a psychiatric hospital is a noble profession/job..that does not make you qualified to know about building costs and yes I know you've written housing opinion pieces. Any relation to Laila H from memory she was with the nurses union before politics

Time for a bit more name calling Houseworks...... why are a majority of home owners so angry? I own the house i live in and im chuffed with the ridiculous CG over the past 7 or so years.

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We’re in this mess today because the Government’s poor policies have scared off landlords and driven up rents by more than $50 per week

This statement is bordering on the ridiculous. With these kind of people jockeying for leadership, the situation is looking dire.

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I agree if the landlords have left the market then they must be selling the houses at a discount price to new home owners. Instead rents have gone up which says landlords are still in the market.

I think when politicians make unusual comments like this they should be subject to mandatory drug testing.

Well agree, would seem in this case though, that the horse blew down the tube first & stronger.

if he means the policy of increasing the accommodation supplement, which signalled to landlords that they could up their rents then he is right. This policy mainly benefited the landlord not the beneficiary

If the housing market was a proper free market there should have been a large increase in private sector build-to-rents in response to Joyce increasing the accomadation supplement by $500m/year in 2017. Yet instead landlords just pocketed the taxpayers contribution and put up rents for tenants. Then cried a whole of self entitled BS to the National Party about how hard done by they are that legislation requires them to provide a habitable accomadation service. What a rort...

Collins is just awful.

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The wastage is just extraordinary. That money would have built how many new state houses?

Heck, given the prices that they appear to be negotiating, they would be better to just give the money directly to those in need and they can find their own hotel for cheaper.

Yeah right, hand big wads of cash to beneficiaries and expect them to look after themselves and spend it wisely. Reality check: money will be blown in one night on drugs, alcohol and pokies and they will be waiting outside WINZ the next morning wanting either more or accommodation.

Lol, I agree - but we shouldn't generalise. 1 or 2 would probably be a whole lot better off with the $1-2k a week in their pockets instead of in a hoteliers.

Blooming dissolute pensioners!

Sadly, Heavy G is right, I know this first hand, I own a motel and we get a lot of requests from WINZ for emergency accommodation, somehow they always have money for plenty of alcohol and cigarettes, we know, we throw their many, many empty bottles and cigarette butts away every morning.

Yvil, introducing Actual Data into debates is a Rule Violation of the First Water. Just Not On. Capiche? Stick to wild generalizations and unfounded speculation, puleeze.

Imagine how amateurish this must appear overseas.
A recent article in the Guardian highlighted the debacle (which is largely the making of the previous government)

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This was National Govt created mess that has got progressively worse. Labor haven't helped, but members of tribe national need to accept JK created denied the housing crisis and he demanded the use of hotels.

$1,500 for a motel room. Internal tourism numbers are gonna look great.

Ha ha, don't tell then how to fudge the numbers Rastus.

'They are not homeless, they are on holiday.'

This was National Govt created mess that has got progressively worse. Labor haven't helped, but members of tribe national need to accept JK created denied the housing crisis and he demanded the use of hotels.

$1,500 for a motel room. Internal tourism numbers are gonna look great.

Comment of the year so far. Even without the homeless, those motels are depressing places that probably should command a price closer to $250 per week.

Ah yes, John Key created the housing crisis by *checks notes* doing pretty much the same thing as the Clark govt, in allowing high immigration and not addressing supply issues. But Key is the one who 'created' the housing crisis. Yea, nah.

Maybe go back to 1999 and check out the run up to the GFC, where house prices rose faster than they did at any time under National's tenure, and successive left wing Councils strangled lands supplies and milked developer contributions for all they were worth. Key is guilty of many things, but he didn't do anything to create a crisis that wasn't already happening under the Clark Govt, and his record on actually stuff about it is far better, even if it was extremely belated.

Very valid. The Clark government were a big part of the problem.

But Key is the one who 'created' the housing crisis. Yea, nah.

Why does this bollocks get repeated here?

Over and over people have pointed out that Clark managed the situation badly, and that John Key campaigned on fixing the housing crisis only to deny for the next nine years that any such crisis existed. That cynical dishonesty was his fault.

house prices stopped rising in 2009 for about 3-4 years. House building collapsed at end of Clark Govt, and was very slow to ramp up afterwards, due to effects of GFC, earthquakes and leaky house regulatory changes that massively dropped building rates. But wasn't obvious that there was a big housing problem showing up again till about 2014 when interest rates had dropped and prices started skyrocketing - and little could be done to fix that quickly with greater supply as takes a long time to ramp up building industry (for evidence see what an appalling job Coalition have made of kiwibuild).

Lets not forget house price inflation under the current lot. Maybe those that rabbit on about the Nats should take a step back and look at the wider position or is it too traumatic to admit that they vilified the Right, falsely?

If National had supported the construction industry by increasing infrastructure expenditure, increasing state house building, reformed RMA etc the post GFC construction slump would not have been so extreme... But instead of implementing reasonable supply side solutions they chose to ignore RMA reform when they had the numbers and instead chose to add further building costs in the form of raising GST and then gave out tax cuts to high income earners who probably invested it in buying up existing properties...

Certainly National failed on getting building regulatory costs under control. House building costs per m² have increased 200% in last 20years, when inflation was only 50% and regulation is much of the issue there. But Coalition have done nothing since they were elected either, unless you count their naive 'big govt' kiwibuild fix that was never going to work. Coalition could still do something about it now - ask for ideas from building trade, but they don't seem to care about FHBs either. Only govt can fix the regulatory problems.

The housing market has been messed up by successive governments going back decades. I am hopeful that this government can implement significant reforms. Kainga Ora could be very useful for example. So far I will acknowledge that results on the ground have not materialized...

"they chose to ignore RMA reform" what crap!
From stuff in 2014 "Restored minister Peter Dunne has signalled a gulf remains preventing him from supporting a key piece of Government legislation.... National's reforms of the Resource Management Act"
Dumb Dunne wasted a lot of parliament time with inane debates and playing politics with peoples futures. He didnt achieve much if anything other than collecting his paycheque. That chickens coming home to roost. Jacinda Ardern is not any better at achieving anything. Just an empty head poster girl for magazines and female leaders

But John Key said he had the answer to making housing affordable back in 2007 and John in his first term.of government didn't need Peter Dunne"s vote because he could enact legislation with either Act's vote or with the Maori party.
https://youtu.be/cWPgoAI1cLE

Good video that. Yes I think JK and the gnats did do a lot to help keep prices lower and affordable along the lines of what he stated. Imagine how the market would be now without all the policies they put in place. They also had to deal with natural disasters and gfc.

The original comment, and I quote, stated he 'created' the housing crisis. That was the basis for my objection.

Here is the depressing read of the day. Numbers just out, read the full summary...it's grim reading

As at the end of December 2019, the number of working-age people on
Jobseeker Support increased by 10.0 percent, compared with the December
2018 quarter. The proportion of working-age people receiving JS has been
increasing since the December 2017 quarter

https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/st...

Yeah, and the way unemployment is calculated is masking some of these things...

Makes for poor reading for the current government

There's no guarantee it would have been any better if we had a different government.
Many of these things have a strong cyclical element.

That's a massive cop-out, coalition inherited best economic conditions for 10 years - that have continued globally, and have managed to mangle things. The buck stops entirely with the current govt.

What economic conditions? Central banks dropping interest rates to prop things up, and GDP growth propped up by massive immigration?

These are catastrophic figures, especially because the figures have deteriorated so badly since the left took over as government, surely the role of a left-wing government is to look after its people in need.

I thought it was the duty of government (no matter who is in power) to look after the people in need. You want to blame the current government - I think the truth is BOTH National and Labour governments must share in the blame (not forgetting , ACT, NZF and the Greens).

Labour has been in power for almost three years now. How long until something is actually their fault? I see a lot of blaming National for the housing crisis alone but there's always and asterisk when it comes to Labour accepting their either haven't done enough or promised far more than they could ever deliver.

Yeah.
The issues are systemic and have been for a long time.

I think I use the word BOTH in my comment - but how is it advantageous to blame one group over another. It seems NO ONE wants to accept that it is New Zealand as a whole that must face up to the fact that we did it to ourselves (and I am not just taking about the housing crisis).

Yeah, and Labour and Nats have only really played small variations on a tired theme,
Really, they are a mirror of US.

.

2 years not 3 years

It's almost the end of the first three year electoral cycle. We are thousands of houses, the entire homeless population and a whole light rail system behind where we were apparently going to be by now.

Based on the last government's example, approximately 8 years plus.

What a shame they made promises about delivering stuff in the first eight years then. I somehow think 'We're going to faff around and lead the electorate around by the short and curlies' would have been a harder sell. It shows how delusional some people are that they'd rather be blatantly lied to by Labour rather than offer a modicum of performance-based criticism using their own campaign promises as a benchmark, and still feel all warm and fuzzy as long as it's not National doing it.

But the left will always fail at that because their fundamental assumption is that you can help people with handouts, when it's been painfully obvious for generations that people are on average lazy and so over the long term the exact opposite is true; handouts just trap the poor and their kids in miserable welfare poverty that they will never be motivated to escape from.

Comment of the day (as exemplified yet again by the total lack of thumbs up)

Where New Zealand wants for housing KiwiBuild will provide. I am certain that no political party would seek election nor be elected if they had failed to address the most pressing issue New Zealand faces. The term that comes to mind for me is "at any cost and by any means."

Sarc?

Maybe they could work with landlords by making HNZ tennants' contracts a bit more lucrative/attractive. Particularly in this low yeild environment; it might ease some of the pain on both sides. At current it doesn't sound like it's worth the landlords' risk. Beats paying astronomical motel prices...

Maybe the rental laws could be rebalanced to make it possible for landlords to get rid of bad destructive tenants who cost landlords money. Or at minimum get HNZ to guaranteed that debts and damage incurred will be covered.

Most would see the costs as justified, given the alternate is lots of cars parked up and tents pitched in our parks and reserves;

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/ldr/407909/rotorua-homeless-have-nowhere-to-g...

That's very much where the US cities have gone.

Aye and we bring in more people on top of more people, a good percentage unskilled. Kate, this is how Hell’s Kitchen was founded.

No objections there. Can't wait to see what (if any) new immigration policies are rolled out during the election. One very good thing this Government did do was ax the path to residency post-qualification for o./seas students.

A Yogi moment. It’s déjà vu all over again. Last time for the first time felt had no option than to party vote NZF. No regrets, thankful actually. Sure some criticism justified, there always is but it is shaping up next election, that NZ will still be better off with NZF amongst the government benches, than not.

Yeah well the revised immigration numbers suggest some progress, and yes we can probably thank Winston to a large extent for that.

It's a difficult decision. I have voted National my whole adult life but can no longer support what is basically Labour lite. I can vote ACT, my natural tendency, and give my children a future, or I can vote for continued privilege with NZF. I think Winston is a hack and Jones is a buffoon, but there is merit in having them frustrate both major parties and basically entrench the status quo, which suits me fine. Right now, I'm thinking act but I could vote NZF to frustrate Lab/Greens.

Open borders Act?

OMG, how anyone other than demented octogenarians can consider the Narcissist in chief to be a useful addition to NZ politics is truly beyond me. He has been playing NZ for ignorant fools with short memories of his lies (only MP in my memory to be censured by parliament for lying) and shenanigans for 40 years. And the corrupt stench coming off the PGF is without equal in modern NZ politics

Perhaps, all as you say, but ask yourself this. Would you prefer then a NZ government consisting of only Labour & Greens. And before you leap down the throat of that, bear in mind these points. John Key at his popular peak could not get National into power on its own( & ditto for Helen Clark for Labour.) In comparison Bridges and his lot, pale into insignificance. Worse for them National has no viable coalition partner. It will take a monumental upheaval of the current stakes for National to regain power this year.

So while they were trying to progress the Kiwibuild disaster, which is basically welfare for middle income earners, rents kept skyrocketing. Social housing was far more logical to solve the pressing issues, but seems that’s only recently dawned on a few ministers.

P.S. Speaking of welfare for middle income earners, can we finally abolish Working For Families and replace it with a tax cut?

Big problem with that is everyone benefits from the tax cut, whereas WFF is a targeted tax rebate.

I don't see any problem there.

It's a revenue thing - lots less tax collected overall - and with CGT out of the question...

But how much does WFF cost to administer?

No idea, but far less admin associated with it I suspect than with the Jobseeker Support and Supplementary benefits system. In the absence of any other meaningful tax/welfare reform being proposed - I'm warming to the idea of a flat tax aligned to the company tax rate of 28% and the removal of all welfare/benefit abatement. That would significantly reduced admin costs overall and allow welfare recipients to work in part-time/casual employment without suffering the present high marginal tax rates.

Targeted assistance would remain in place for lower incomes and those with dependent children by way of tax relief, perhaps by way of a GST reclaim system for essential items, as well as housing cost assistance.

Of course the ideal would be a land tax with a far lower rate of flat tax on income, but no one is talking about that means of simplification.

I have quite mixed feelings on WFF. On the one hand, it must be really hard raising children on a lower-middle income, and we want the children of our country to prosper.
On the other is it really fair for people who CHOOSE to have children to get a significant hand out while those on the same income without children don't?

Most developed countries have some form of child tax credits, or family tax credits, or tax credits based on the number of dependent children - same principle as WFF. It's really not unusual. Thing is, HC didn't want to give the tax credits to non-working parent(s) - hence the "working" part of WFF. I think that may have changed since.

Sensible countries know investing in children is the best investment. It is making it means-tested that causes trouble. Please bring back a generous universal child benefit - something similar to superannuation. Yes it will mean increasing taxes to pay for it but it is worth it.

I cant disagree with universal child benefit, not to the same level as WFF it is too generous. Taxpayers will end up paying both child benefits as WFF will not be curtailed.

I’ll admit my stance is something of a hardline i.e. don’t incentivise people to have children; it must be a choice at your own cost. I’m not at all against beneficiaries but I do favour phasing out the DPB (or eventually cap it at 1 child). Why? Because it’s one of the most “green” policies there is. More so than banning plastic bags or canning supply-side fossil fuel exploration bans.

The alternative to kiwis not having kids is cultural and demographic replacement through mass immigration.

Mate just leased a house to housing NZ at %4 return for 5 years. So housing NZ is working to make more rentals available. Of course it never occurred to them that the present family in the house is about to get turfed out and go to the bottom of their list.
Life really is stranger than fiction.

Might be the present families' impetus to finally buy their own place, if they have the means.

yeh, right

It is simple mathematics. There Are 40000 extra people each added to the population. That means you need 15000 more homes per year.
The government is providing net gain of around 1500 per year. The rest is being provided by the private sector. This situation can not be changed by any government be it Labour or National.

Why can't it change? With a well run prefabrication plant you could easily get those numbers much higher.
The Urban Development Authority will also help speed things along.

massive infrastructure deficit

Even worse perhaps is the age of existing infrastructure;

https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wellington/118981670/trucks-o...

I expect we're going to see a whole lot more bits and pieces failing around us. Councils just haven't kept up with renewals - far too preoccupied with growth as opposed to maintenance.

you might want to check out some of the fresh water storage around the place, most built in the 60's and 70's and now struggling to handle the population.
along with hotter dryer summers fresh water (drinking) will become an issue in this country in the next 20 years

I think what you mean more precisely is that these pathetic NZ political parties cannot.

The largest home builder in the states alone builds 55,000 a year.

What Govts. need to do is provide the right legislation, and then get out of the way.

heard shane jones yesterday say they will be electioneering on immigration, sorry you blew that one last election people will not believe you anymore that you will cap the numbers so we can resolve some of the infrastructure problems that are now rearing there ugly head after 20 years of open door policy,

We stayed in a lovely motel unit in epsom. Trouble is the beneficiaries were in the unit below. They talked and joked all friggin night until 5am before finally going quiet, totally ignorant f-wits. The motelier apologised but it's a bit late when you've had no sleep.

Pretty obvious to me this is latent demand that built up over the decade of the hostile state that arose under the Key led National govt. Also see ACC claimants who were illegally denied coverage over the same period. Emergency housing is in demand due to the amateur and slum landlord racketeers finally being unable by law to rent out shacks, garages, unpermitted sleepouts and worse...its cheaper than having everyone sick and in hospital.

Here's one of the consequences of the always positive housing prices going up. Who doesn't want to get into the property ladder and have a comfortable retirement, well this is what that mindset brings: inequality, homelessness and public investment to indirectly subsidize the capital gains of a few.

The answer for spiraling house prices, the less fortunate being housed, all our housing woes centre around a Government of this country having the balls to build State housing at an unprecedented rate, and in unprecedented numbers.
All Governments we have had for the last 20 years have no backbone, and are swayed by the property owning (quite whiny) class. Unfortunately, to make a change requires a revolution, Id suggest the losers wont be the current losers.

It does look like this Government is prepared to allow HNZ to take on the extra debt needed to lift the number of builds;

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/118867159/kinga-ora-borrows-up...

Let's just hope they have the ability to lift the game to those levels stated..

Why doesn't the govt borrow the money itself? And provide it to HNZ to get the ball going. Cheaper than getting HNZ to do it. Govt wasting our money (on higher interest payments) again.

Having released themselves from the prior budget responsibility rules, I assume because they intend to increase govt (on the balance sheet) borrowing by a considerable amount for other purposes. There is such a lot that needs doing. Personally, I feel given the low interest rate environment and while there is relatively cheap energy still available, time is now to catch up with far, far more borrowing.

My worry is the Nats taking the opposite stance in this election campaign - some folks still think high govt debt is a bad thing.

that is some exponential curve.