- Date published:
9:05 am, September 28th, 2022 - 64 comments
Categories: Carmel Sepuloni, chris bishop, housing, national, national/act government, same old national, Social issues - Tags:
Something unusual has happened. Chris Bishop, or as we should now call him Comrade Chris, has come out fully in favour of a vast expansion of the provision of social housing for kiwis.
According to Comrade Chris it is a moral disgrace that people are staying longer and longer in motels.
Emergency housing was put in place by National to tackle the homeless crisis; its use skyrocketed during the pandemic and has now become a long-term option for many.
The average stay in 2018 was three weeks, but that’s now blown out to more than 20 weeks, based on information provided to National housing spokesperson Chris Bishop.
He described the current state of emergency housing as “a total social and moral disaster for New Zealand”; he had “real concerns” about the safety of some residents, both from what people living there tell him and from media reports.
“The simple reality is we do not want children growing up living in motels,” Bishop said. “We are now caught in the situation where there are children being born in emergency housing; some young kids out there who have no no other life other than living in a motel room. That is an appalling state of affairs.”
I could not agree more with him more. It is good that homeless people have somewhere to stay but this should only be a short term interim arrangement. While we no longer see the huge numbers of people living in cars that we did six years ago there is still a housing crisis.
But Bishop’s comments really jar. As said by Carmel Sepuloni the government is still working to reverse the housing deficit created by the previous National government. Bishop’s criticisms were “incredibly disingenuous” and showed a “shocking level of hypocrisy”.
It is not as if National left the country a deficit of 70,000 houses which has now been reduced to 10,000, or that there were huge numbers of working families sleeping in their cars. Or who can forget the Methamphetamine hysteria that gripped Housing Corp and caused huge misery to many innocent people? Or the great sell off of Housing Corporation units or that National kneecapped Housing Corp by requiring it to pay the Crown a dividend?
Comrade Chris’s acceptance of the importance of good quality housing is welcome. But I will not accept that it is heart felt until he apologises for the worst excesses of the last National Government and how it’s disastrous handling of housing created a crisis.