State houses good start, but not enough
‘‘It doesn't sound like much but it's a start.’’
A good start, but not enough.
That’s been the reaction to Housing Minister Phil Twyford’s announcement that Rotorua is set to get eight new state houses by the middle of this year.
Twyford announced the eight new homes as part of programme that will see 155 new state houses built across 15 regional centres.
‘‘This is the first step in building more homes to help those most in need in our regions,’’ he announced last week.
‘‘In total, it will build more than 270 bedrooms for individuals or families in the areas where they are needed most.’’
He said the homes would be modern, warm and dry and mostly consist of one or two bedroom properties, with residents’ expected to begin moving in from mid-2018.
For homeless charity Love Soup’s trustee Elmer Peiffer however, the eight is ‘‘nowhere near enough’’.
‘‘Look at the numbers [of homeless] in motel rooms, in transient housing. We need a supply in numbers that’s going to compete with the rental market.’’
Peiffer said that while he was expecting more from the Labourled Government, it was early.
‘‘They had a big mess to clear up and you can’t expect miracles,’’ he said.
Rotorua MP Todd McClay said that for eight families, the news would be wonderful, but the num- ber ‘‘doesn’t even scratch the surface’’.
He said he was unsure whether the eight were part of 117 announced by the previous National Government, and that he had been unable to obtain clarification from Twyford.
‘‘Even if they’re not, 117 plus eight doesn’t even come close enough,’’ he said.
McClay also aimed a barb at Labour Waiariki MP Tamati Coffey, who he said was ‘‘vocal on the issue of housing’’ during the election campaign.
‘‘Tamati Coffey needs to deliver the hundreds of houses he promised,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s eight more than his Government built in the last eight years. It’s a complete turnaround from the last Government, which sold them off.’’
Coffey said there was no ‘‘magic number’’ for new houses and that he was pleased that some would be available in time for winter
‘‘It doesn’t sound like much but it’s a start.’’ Coffey hit
Housing Minister Phil Twyford during a visit to Auckland last week to announce the new houses. Tamati Coffey