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Motels are full of homeless so now what?

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, April 11th, 2017 - 83 comments
Categories: class war, housing, human rights, national, useless - Tags: , , , ,

RNZ this morning:

Homeless families: ‘We’ve got nowhere to send them’

Emergency housing providers are warning more homeless families will be sleeping in cars, parks and garages in Auckland this winter because of a desperate shortage of cheap accommodation.

They say the crisis is worse this year because emergency motel units are already full, and at least one marae which helped people last winter won’t be reopening its doors.

Ordinary people are priced out of home ownership, are increasingly priced out of renting, the state-housing safety net has been deliberately run down, and now the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff is full.

Across Auckland, in Manukau, the Salvation Army is turning away two or three families a day.

Policy analyst Alan Johnson said landlords did not want families on benefits. “We’ve got nowhere to send them, to refer them to to offer them any other form of housing so effectively they are just sent away,” he said. They had no idea where they ended up. “That’s part of the frustration – that we know these people are going to do it hard but there is nothing we can do to help them.”

This is all completely predictable, so what has the government been doing?

The government had asked the Salvation Army for ideas on tackling the crisis but the organisation was out of ideas for where to put emergency housing, he said.

Out of ideas. Change the government.

83 comments on “Motels are full of homeless so now what? ”

  1. Barfly 1

    The National Government is working as intended.

    • Chris 1.1

      Motels today, containers tomorrow, tents next week. They’ll be charging interest on the huge motel debts shortly. It’s getting like a science fiction novel.

      • Tamati Tautuhi 1.1.1

        Squatter camps on the edge of the cities like Santiago and Soweto.

      • Not all science fiction is dystopian, which is absolutely how the housing situation (and the real percentage-based cost of living relative to incomes) is ending up. Dystopias have been cropping up in YA, romance, fantasy, (although they call it “grimdark” there) and even political thrillers for quite some time now, and have become more popular since Brexit and Trump.

        If you’re not familiar with utopian science fiction, (or just scifi with more complicated moods that fall into shades of grey) you could compare and contrast say, Star Trek to Blade Runner. (and then compare to, say, Dune or the Culture series if you want something a little more in-between)

    • Working like the FEMA camps they’ve always wanted.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    Obviously the solution is to see if there are any multinational motel chains which would like government assistance in exchange for a modest donation to the National Party.

  3. Jenny Kirk 3

    As you say, completely predictable. But the government was/is prepared to spend about $41million over the next 12 or so months to keep all these homeless families in motels – just to hide the problem during the election campaign.
    Problem is : the govt forgot to factor in all the tourists arriving in NZ for special sporting events over the winter !
    Hoist with their own petard !

    • Once upon a time not so long ago this ‘fiscally prudent ‘ govt spent around 25 million dollars on a flag referendum.

      It knows what its priority’s are.

    • Siobhan 3.2

      Meantime in the Provinces…homeless are already out in the cold due to the large population of RSE workers ….

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503462&objectid=11799387

      Though I’m sure National would point out that the Hawkes Bay IS nice and sunny…
      but still, It drives me nuts that this is constantly presented as ‘an Auckland’/Queens town/Wellington problem…even the crappiest of little towns are under pressure.

    • michelle 3.3

      41 million going down the toilet what a total waste of our tax money when this money could be better used/utilized and this has been common practice with the tory government ruining our country. Think about the Saudi farms no trade deal and the 11.5 million given to appease them. Then there is the flag referendum 25 million and all the court cases the govt being sued for ACC claims millions of dollars and the Pulla rebstocks debacle to name a few we have been getting ripped of and spun lies for 9 years now and some fools still believe their spin

  4. michelle 4

    I blame the dumb Nzers that have kept voting for them and Maori are under represented in this group ( for a change ) unlike all the other negative stats it was predominantly Pakeha who voted for the gnats

    • Barfly 4.1

      /Cough…….. Maori Party

      • michelle 4.1.1

        The Maori party got 2 seats so you can see they ain’t very popular with there own Barfly

        • Barfly 4.1.1.1

          How many did Mana get?

          • michelle 4.1.1.1.1

            do your own research Barfly our pakeha whanau predominantly voted the gnats in not Maori. Maori also voted to keep the flag funny that aye why? do you think Maori want to keep the flag barfly (TOW) was signed by the crown representing queen Victoria that’s why we want our rights upheld. I also studied the areas that voted to change the flag they were all national voting areas says a lot, why get rid of the flag when many NZers including our current government are still falling all over the royals

  5. greywarshark 5

    It seem that the National Party can get away with gutting the country and hanging a large number of people out to dry, treating the country as a company that is to be bought, manipulated for maximum profit, and then sold off as old not and not promising . They call that in business asset stripping.

    The National supporters continue to support this outrage being pratised against fellow citizens in the democracy they have taken charge of. We’ve been hijacked by them all, they are all smiling assassins.

    This morning on Radio nz they have been talking about the elderly in Capital Coast dhb not being able to get the care they need, the procedures have been changed, diminished without warning.

    And still the layabouts in government and parliament will not enable euthanasia legal proceedings, setting up good laws that enabl;e responsible choice.

    The whole country is being run on a laissez faire basis, not with scruples,. fairness, integrity of caring for fellow human beings. John Clarke would have had something to say about this. Those of us who still hold to a nationn state that operates practically intelligently and kindly had better grit our teeth and do something to awake others before we also die. What we are now is such a bloody disgrace, what passes for government is also a bloody disgrace, and the future probabiolity that things will continue to slide parallells the degradation of mind and spirit that brought about the German holocaust, and the others of different sorts that have occurred in our modern civilised world. I am off now to do some community work in the hope that my small input will help in making a sum that is greater than its parts. Greetings to all that are also trying for the same, and doing as well as saying.

  6. saveNZ 6

    How about they all start living in the streets next to Parliament and government buildings. Might make the reality a bit closer to home for many of our completely out of touch politicians.

    The other thing I think would help, is a website that people could post accommodation onto that is aimed specifically at beneficiaries or those who may be homeless through natural disasters like floods or earthquakes.

    There are kind people out there who could offer to rent cheaper accommodation to those in need or have a spare room that might work for someone homeless or close to it.

    One of the sad things about the Natz approach is that they have created this feeling of a lack of community and a fear of helping someone in need. It is now time to take back that community feeling.

  7. This cold winter, June/July, hoards of British rugby supporters will be top and tailing it with the locals in motels around our clean green pristine land.–or maybe sleeping out under the stars ?

    • Bill 7.1

      Travellers are already sleeping rough down in Queenstown so it’s going to be a sh!tfight for dossing space. Maybe Unicef can lend us some tents that aren’t being used for refugees right now?

      <[To avoid confusion, you need to change your handle. Cheers] – Bill

    • mosa 7.2

      Not well respected rugby supporters doin it rough surely…its not like there is a beer shortage The decrypter.

  8. mac1 8

    I’ve just read the best spin ever as to how to put a positive on the bleak situation which our homeless face.

    “For a region of our size, this is very impressive but as I said not surprising, because signs of progress, high business confidence and a buoyant economy are clearly visible.

    Just look at the many residential and commercial construction projects underway, our pressured real-estate and rental market, and the ongoing expansion of our wine industry.” Stuart Smith MP. Marlborough Express April 10

    Get that one. Failure for years to have enough houses built is now a sign of a buoyant economy. It’s a positive. It’s a regrettable downside of progress!

    The MP’s report then goes on to tell us the good news. But it’s all about seafood and wine, tourism and what a wonderful region he lives in.

    Nothing about the bad news for our poor, our homeless, the people sleeping in flax bushes, in grandstands, under bridges and in children’s playhouses. Nothing about the effects of eight years of freezing social services funding while inflation eats away at the amount available and our population grows, partly fuelled by this economic expansion. Nothing about water quality in out towns, our rivers and the Sounds. Or the stink of grape marc polluting the town’s air. Nothing about twenty state houses boarded up, standing empty, not even able to be sold.

    As he says in the by-line, “The good news is, there’s plenty more to come.”

    For whom?

    • Ok then , – forget about a cardboard box to sleep in , – it’ll have to be half a cardboard box instead.

      Times are tough and we’ve all got to make some sacrifices.

      • saveNZ 8.1.1

        Where are those 9 Northland bridges that the Natz promised? Those could be good to sleep under, if indeed any such bridges have been built as promised by the Natz.

        • mac1 8.1.1.1

          They’d need 9 bridges. Down here, eleven months ago, there were 118 sleeping rough in a region with 1% of NZ’s population. Extrapolate that and you have nationwide beds required for 11, 800 people. That’s a lot of bridges. That’s a lot of motels. That’s a lot of misery.

          On top of that we have natural disasters with that increasing demand.

          Mind you, there were in this region last census nearly 4000 unoccupied houses. That’d go a long way to solving homelessness.

          The Pakeha history of Marlborough began with squatters………….. the leading lights here were known as the “Squatocracy” after all.

    • michelle 8.2

      If the gnats get in they will sell the rest of our state house to there mates,

  9. Brendon 9

    NZ has a specialist government institution that has 80 years of experience in housing struggling kiwis -maybe the National government could steal Labour’s policy -return Housing New Zealand to being a public service?

    That would permanently stop HNZ being undermined by taking from it dividends, taxes and interest charges to the tune of $1.8 billion over 8 years. HNZ could then build more State housing, which would house people who would otherwise be homeless.

    FFS this is not rocket science -all it takes is some political will….

  10. Greg 10

    The answer in short term is lay out refugee camps but
    the government. And natioal voters wouldn’t
    want The attention they would cause national quite happy for these poor people remain hidden
    If there was the will playing drills could be expropriate and used it
    It isan emergency

    • That’s right. I hear they have already started making coffins for all the masses over in America for their FEMA camps too. Cheap ones made of plastic that can accommodate several individuals at a time.

      This is NZ , however and the best we can ever hope for from this National govt is a cardboard box.

    • ropata 10.2

      Yes, why not just build one large camp for all the homeless and refugees, so they can be together, and out of sight of tourists for the Masters Games and Lions Tour.

      At this camp, it may be crowded but with stable accommodation kids would be able to focus on schoolwork, so put a positive spin and call it a “concentration camp”

  11. Sadly some will die in the cold, homeless this year. And when that happens Bennett and English and all of them will cry bullshit tears as they turn their electric blankets up to 3. We won’t forget the truth though.

    • Barfly 11.1

      Nah no electric blankets mate Heat Pumps.

      • WILD KATIPO 11.1.1

        One ex National PM wont even need either an electric blanket or Heat Pump as he cheerfully putts around the golf course in Hawaii . Not for him any drafty , sodden cardboard box to sleep in.

        Oh no , not him.

  12. Kevin 12

    You run an economy based on as many minimum wage jobs as possible and shit like this catches up on you eventually.

  13. Sabine 13

    i have been saying it for years now,

    people and advocacy groups, sally army, red cross and whom ever wants to participate should simply build a refugee city in the middle of the cities. Cause that really is what our homeless are becoming, internally displaced people with no where to go.

    the Domain or Western Springs Park, or Albert Park are all public space, they all have public toilets, and could hold many tents for families to sleep. They could have a tent for medical services, a school tent, a kindergarten tent, a tent for elderlies, a tent for vocational education and what nots.

    They could call it Key Ville.

    • Barfly 13.1

      🙂

    • Far too expensive for the next National party flag referendum .

      You’ll have to bring your expectations down far , far below what you are suggesting regarding tents. Out of the question entirely.

      Cardboard boxes are perfectly adequate and far more in line with what this govt is prepared to pay to accommodate the burgeoning poor.

      Besides … according to one warm hearted right wing blogger – they are probably all Labour party supporters, anyway. In which case they deserve only half a cardboard box to sleep in.

      • Sabine 13.2.1

        i am not joking WK, i think that really this is what needs to be done to drive home the issue.

        As long as we joke about it, as long as we hide people in motels, as long as people hide themselves in their cars/van/caravans nothing will get done.

        And every year it gets a bit worse then the year before.

        So yeah, a tent city to house our homeless, with a WINZ office, a Sally Army office and so on would be good on then news and bet you a dime to a dollar that even our so called christian compassionate conservative National Wanna Be unelected PM the housing welfare fraudster would have to do something unless he really just wants to look like the callous, self centered and self serving ‘christian in name only’ greed head that he is.

    • saveNZ 13.3

      I propose Remuera Golf Course so that it hits home to the 1st families of NZ. The homeless kiddies could lower the tone by going to the Remuera schools. On the plus side, they could get a bit more funding if they go down the decile.

    • AmaKiwi 13.4

      Sabine, I like your idea. I’d be happy to help build and maintain it.

      Note: What I like is shaming the government. I do NOT like people struggling to survive in refugee camps.

      • greg 13.4.1

        refugee camps in the short term until we can get a change of government and get the homes built there are plenty of sports fields to set up multiple camps isnt the homeless figure around 41 thousand desperate times require desperate measures
        its an end of the road solution and the ultimate signal of failure and one i never thought we would ever contemplate in new Zealand
        organized camps must be better than the current situation

    • greg 13.5

      new york had hover ville

  14. Sabine 14

    Also, try to get a WINZ appointment when you have no phone, no internet, no electricity, no nothing cause flood. And at the same time you have lost the caravan in which you were living, and the house in which you a sheltering is flood damaged and not livable.

    You can’t even walk into an WINZ office anymore without an appointment so as to schedule an appointment in person.

    • BM 14.1

      You may not know this, but at most Kiwibank/Postshops, there’s a free phone set up that allows people to ring certain important businesses and government departments like WINZ, Baycorp, Instant finance etc.

      Next time tell this person to go to a post shop and use the free phone.

      • McFlock 14.1.1

        holy crap, that’s a bloody useful thing to know, given that phone booths seem to be slowly disappearing

        • BM 14.1.1.1

          Yeah, I had no idea they offered that service.

          I only know because my partner was swapping some foreign currency and it was taken forever so I went at sat at one of the tables and noticed this phone on the wall.

          From memory there was probably around 50 different businesses and government departments, you just picked up the phone pressed the number beside each business and away you went.

          • McFlock 14.1.1.1.1

            Damned if I can google-up any info on it though – if it exists nationally they must be keeping it on the down-low. Maybe a legacy from the horrible pre-lab4 days

            Of course, the entire “id at the door” thing is bullshit anyway, but never mind.

            • BM 14.1.1.1.1.1

              I couldn’t find anything on the website so being the good samaritan that I am, just gave post shop a call just to check it’s a nationwide service and not on a shop by shop basis.

              Yep, it’s nationwide.

              • McFlock

                cool, I know one or two people who’ll find that info really useful

              • Sabine

                again, your service only works if

                a. you have a post shop in your ‘rural town’
                b. you have working phone lines
                c. you have electricity

                do you try to be that dense or is it naturally?

                • BM

                  Christ, you try and help people and I cop this bullshit.

                  How about you fuck off back home you whinging fucking German.

                  You add nothing to NZ, so piss off and don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out.

                  • Sabine

                    bwahahahahahahahahahahahahah yeah, nah, nah.

                  • Sabine

                    no you cop bullshit because you sprout bullshit.

                    I have laid out a scenario that happened due to flooding. I laid out that everything that could not work did not work. and you come and tell me that people should march on to the next town – with no car, with no clothes left on their backs – let alone shoes, to find an open post shop with a working free phone.

                    That is dense mate. Not helpfull at all, just a bit of verbal wanking to make you feel betterer in your believe that if people would just try harder, pull those bootstraps a bit higher they would be fine and so would you.

                    Well guess what, the people of Edgecumbe are not fine, the people in Tane Atua that had their properties flooded by several meters are not fine.
                    they need help, real help, not just some aw shucks, let them use the public phone in the next town some several 10 of kms away by foot, without shoes.

                  • No need for that bm – you just lost your cool cos you weren’t worshipped – ffs grow up boy

                    • McFlock

                      I dunno marty. Sabine has a point, but BM was actually being more relevant and useful than usual.

                      A friend lost her phone and wallet a while back, and was really shitting herself about how to get into winz to sort it out. That info about the free phones is good to know

                    • yeah he does come out with some stuff that is useful in a practical way sometimes – I was reacting to his ‘go back to germany’ stuff. If we go down that road… it never ends well.

                    • McFlock

                      true that

      • Red 14.1.2

        That’s inconvenient of you BM , Sabine will need to find another tangent

        • Sabine 14.1.2.1

          Same thing for you Red,

          how many post shops are there in small – very small rural areas? none, you are lucky if you have an ATM.

          As for the phone, it only helps if you have someone answering the phone on the other end. But never mind, just go on pretending that you guys actually give a shit and care. Cause you don’t. Until it fucking hits you. then you care, and alas by then it will be well and truly to fucking late.

          go find a post shops, why don’t you go and find green and red striped dog while you are at it?

          Actually do you guys get paid for wanking off when you post shit like that? or are you doing it because its the only way for you to get off?

          • Red 14.1.2.1.1

            Bawhawhawhawhawhaawha, yeah, na na
            A little a bit less of the sanctimonious crap however would be nice
            On your last point Sabine you seem be overly excited , settle dear

          • Muttonbird 14.1.2.1.2

            They (BM and Red and their type) pretend to be philanthropic by dropping ‘useful bits of information for poor people’ every now and then. It’s the only way they can look themselves in the mirror.

      • Sabine 14.1.3

        do you actually know where Tane Atua is or is that your behind talking?

        do you know how many Post shops with free phones are still in the country, and especially in rural areas or is that just you huffing and puffing pretending to know stuff and give a shit?

        just go away.

        • John up North 14.1.3.1

          I’ve got a post shop………… it’s 30kms away. The three closer towns have a general store that does postal duty, but no phones and if you want to post anything larger than a shoebox…………… off you go to Whangarei and a proper post shop.
          I imagine most smaller towns are in the same boat, bit like the banks pulling out of small towns and letting people know they just need to get the app for their phone/computer……………… sigh getting a bit circular here!

          • greywarshark 14.1.3.1.1

            John Up North
            I think we will soon be at the level where this guy from up country in the USA went to Kansas and decided that everything was up to date in that city!

            Everything’s up to date in [Whangarei] City.

        • Red 14.1.3.2

          Again settle petal

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 14.1.3.3

          Yep, nearest post office and winz office is about 150km from the small town near my home. Plenty of poor and badly housed people there too.

  15. michelle 15

    I see Bill has just said we have plenty of money for emergency housing but just need to find houses. Really our taxes is going to be wasted on his short term thinking and this is why we need to get rid of this lot in parliament wasting our money on a band aide approach and the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff practices once again

  16. Michael 16

    Andrew Little told a public meeting a couple of weeks ago that any government led by him wouldn’t actually get any houses built, or even started, until near the end of his first term (we’d have to re-elect him, again and again, to see any sign of the 100,000 houses he told us he’d build – without specifying when). The first couple of years of a Labour-led government would see a new bureaucratic empire set up (to oversee the home building project), bureaucrats hired, corporate logos designed, stationery printed, all those essential tasks. Little didn’t tell us, on this occasion, that the houses his government would build (eventually) would be aimed at “first home buyers” (not car dwellers) and would sell for around $600,000 (plus ongoing house-price inflation, of course), thus pricing just about everyone at the meeting out of contention. Little didn’t have to tell us about this “minor detail” in his housing plan – he’s said it before and some of us were smart enough to take copies of his statements and share them around with our less-informed comrades. It’s probably just as well “Labour” is heading for another term on the Opposition benches, as the ghost of MJ Savage might well raise a moan of protest at the traducing of his party’s ideals.

    • greywarshark 16.1

      Michael
      I feel strong and energised and hopeful after reading your well-thought out plan to deal with the country’s chronic underresourced and unfaced housing problem./sarc

      If you are a fairy godmother please start waving your fairy wand, just make sure it doesn’t turn into a baton which you use to club irritating yoiks who get belligerent about having to beg for everything, and never having a chance to get a friendly help to get settled and near where there are some jobs.

  17. Philj 18

    The situation we are in is just the beginning. The failure of the governments lack of effective policy to improve matters is starting to be increasingly obvious. And these problems are deep rooted and will not improve over the short term, if at all. They may actually get worse. I hope not.

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