Housing Minister Megan Woods is 'building houses, not whinging'

The Monte Cecelia Trust provides transitional housing for people, helping rehouse them in permanent homes.

The problem is there are no homes to rehouse them in.

CEO of Monte Cecelia Trust Bernie Smith told Tova earlier on Friday morning,  "We're talking about 9,500 people in motels across the country. 4,500 of those people are children. They're in their formative years and they're in motels, some have been in motels for a year or two." 

It’s distressing, demoralising and staff and tenants feel helpless in the face of a mounting housing crisis.

The Government’s made another feel-good housing announcement, funding for infrastructure for 8000 new homes but there’s a hitch, it’s going to take two decades to reach that goal.

The crisis is now.

Housing Minister Megan Woods told Tova O'Brien building more permanent transitional housing is a 'key priority and focus' for Labour.

"When we came into Government there were around 1,700 permanent transitional housing spots, there are now 5,400 of them," Woods said.

She agreed with Tova that while significant work has already been done, there is still much more to do.

"Absolutely, we will not for one moment rest on our laurels and think the work is done."

In an attempt to justify the NZ$1 billion spent by Labour on emergency motels, Woods told Tova they had to 'repair a broken public housing sector' when they first came into power five years ago.

"It was shrinking, not growing. There were 1,500 fewer houses that the previous government ended up with than they started with."

She explained that in the past five years, they have added more public houses than any Government since the 1970s, 9,500 public housing places, and 4,000 transitional housing places.

Woods told Tova Labour does not shy away from the challenge that is in front of them and will continue to face it head-on.

"I am not whinging, I'm getting on and I'm building houses."

"I think it is also worth remembering that we have continued to add these places through a time where construction has been shut down for long periods over the last two years.

"This has been a key priority for our Government, one that we know is a huge challenge and we will continue to keep adding to, it is our responsibility as a Government."

Listen to the full interview between Housing Minister Megan Woods and Tova above.

You can also download the full interview on the Tova podcast, and listen on the go. Check it out on the rova app or wherever you get your podcasts.