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Labour urges state of emergency on housing

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/08/2016
The Auckland housing boom © Bloomberg The Auckland housing boom

Labour's housing spokesman Phil Twyford wants the government to declare a state of emergency to deal with housing issues.

Mr Twyford said research from Otago University suggests 41,000 New Zealanders are homeless. That includes people living in campgrounds and families living in a single room in a shared house.

The government must address the social crisis, he says.

"What they should do is declare a state of emergency," he told TVNZ's Q&A program on Sunday.

Aspiring politician and former television celebrity Tamati Coffey wrote in the Rotorua Post on Saturday that homelessness is a topic that continues to plague the government.

"Our homelessness crisis is real and it's happening in most of our big cities, including Rotorua.

"Non-New Zealand residents are buying up our houses and house sales going up with home ownership going down."

A generation of young New Zealanders are struggling to get onto the property ladder and have by default, become part of "generation rent", he says.

Mr Twyford says many solutions are being mooted.

"Someone's proposed the old Mt Eden Prison be used. Someone else suggested a cruise ship. Paul Bennett's talking about pod housing. Look, my message to the government is I don't care how you do it; just do it."

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