16 Aug 2017

Govt defends price paid for motels to house homeless

7:44 pm on 16 August 2017

The government has spent almost $8.5 million on four motels to temporarily house homeless people - and it plans to buy another two.

Justice Minister Amy Adams moved a motion in the House to apologise to homosexual New Zealanders 
who were convicted for consensual adult activity.

Social Housing Minister Amy Adams Photo: VNP / Phil Smith

The Labour Party said the government had bought motels in Gisborne, Hastings, Napier, and Auckland - with each purchase more than double the most recent QV valuations.

The party said it was irresponsible to spend those sums while at the same time selling off state homes.

However, Social Housing Minister Amy Adams said the service was more than just putting a roof over people's heads.

"Where we've purchased motels it's not for emergency special need grant placements, it's for creating a brand new class of housing called transitional housing."

"It's about ensuring they have somewhere safe and secure to stay while they wait for long-term placement and ensuring they have wrap-around social services to support it.

"That has never been done before. This government has added it into the social housing options and we're very proud of it."

Ms Adams said the government was the first to provide such a service so people were not forced to sleep in their cars.

Labour's Carmel Sepuloni asked Ms Adams in Parliament today if she thought the purchase had been good value for money.

"As I just mentioned ... we have purchased four for the purposes of providing up to 12 weeks transitional support as part of our $354 million program to support people in need of housing.

She said she thought the people of New Zealand were happy the government had supported homeless people in a way which never happened under Labour.

"Where they frankly were happy to leave them sleeping in cars, in parks, on park benches and under trees."

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