30 Aug 2014

Emergency housing plan for homeless

9:22 pm on 30 August 2014

The Labour Party has released a plan to use empty state houses as emergency housing for vulnerable people so they are not left to sleep on the streets or in their cars.

Surburban New Zealand state houses in Hornby, Christchurch.

Surburban New Zealand state houses in Hornby, Christchurch. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said, if elected, Labour would spend $5 million to provide urgent housing for 1000 homeless people each year.

He said that would include using empty state house, where possible.

"Every provincial town and city around New Zealand, there are large numbers of vacant state houses. There are 2700 at the moment around New Zealand", he said.

"In many of those towns and cities, there is no emergency accommodation for homeless people whatsoever."

Mr Twyford said a Labour Government would also build 400 homes in Canterbury for emergency housing, as there was an acute housing crisis there.

He said Labour would also regulate and clean up the rules relating to boarding houses after a select committee inquiry found some have slum-like conditions.

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