15 Aug 2017

At least 2000 more social houses needed annually - Salvation Army

From Morning Report, 7:50 am on 15 August 2017

A new report says at least 2000 extra social houses will need to be built every year to deal with homelessness. It's author Alan Johnson told Morning Report he thinks the target could be met, with government help.

"The rule of thumb that we've developed is probably about half those houses need to be in Auckland. So perhaps up to a thousand additional state and social houses in Auckland for the next decade.

"I think clearly it's going to take a few years to gear up to that. People said 'that's a massive number of houses' and indeed it is but it's in the context that in New Zealand we're building around 30,000 houses a year... The reality is we do have an industry that has the capacity to build that number of houses."

Mr Johnson says he would like to see the government work in partnership with the private sector and training providers to set the supply chain in place. 

"There is a willingness [from the government] increasingly to accept that this is a challenge... The reality is that maybe we're building 600 additional houses over the next year or the next two years. We need to increase that effort by maybe three or four-fold."

He says the Salvation Army has not yet spoken to the government about meeting that challenge but would like to see it addressed after the election.