Food for Thought: National puts prisons before people’s housing
By Veronica Harrod
A member of the audience who attended a recent public meeting on the housing crisis was heard muttering the Government was prepared to set aside aside more money on building prisons than on affordable housing.
The audience member, who preferred not to give his name, said it was a sad indictment when the Government is prepared to set aside over $2 billion for building more prisons. And this is where he expects many of the homeless and poor will probably end up.
After the May budget announcement, Social Housing Minister Amy Adams announced a further $205m boost for social housing.
But this is a drop in the bucket compared to how much the Government is prepared to set aside for building more prisons.
At the Waikanae meeting, organised by the Labour Party, the Party’s housing spokesperson, Phil Twyford, reminded people of the Government’s action in sending officials to Australia last year to discuss the sell-off of up to 2500 state houses in Christchurch.
At the time, in response to questions in Parliament about the Australian trip, deputy prime minister Paula Bennett said:
“I stand by our policy around getting more community housing providers involved in social housing – I think it’s good for tenants and I think it’s good for New Zealand.” (!)