You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Bennett considers pre-booking motels

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/06/2016
Paula Bennett. © Getty Images Paula Bennett.

The government is considering booking motels for up to a week so it has rooms ready for homeless people.

It already uses motels for emergency accommodation, and Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett says she's looking for a better deal.

"If we looked at taking some on a weekly basis we could get a better rate," she told reporters on Wednesday.

"I'm not sure how many, it's something we're going through and we could do it fairly quickly."

Labour's housing spokesman, Phil Twyford, says it's a desperate measure.

"When a minister says she's bulk booking motels for homeless people, the government is running up the white flag," he said.

People who are put up in motels incur a debt to Work and Income, which can be waived under exceptional circumstances.

The government intends introducing a new emergency grant to help them, but Labour wants all the debts wiped.

"She's forcing these people to pay back their debts, it just beggars belief," Mr Twyford said.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon