The demand for social housing in Auckland is exceeding supply and the waiting lists are long. So the Ministry of Social Development is offering people an extra $2000 or $3000 as well as paying for moving costs to relocate out of Auckland.
Almost half of the 4,585 people on the social housing register live in Auckland and they are being enticed out of the area with free money.
Chairperson for the Roopu a Iwi Trust, Maureen Mua says, “I think it's just a knee-jerk reaction for the amount of pressure that the minister is receiving at the moment because of all the homelessness and honestly I don't think it's going to work.”
People wanting to move can get a one-off $5000 grant to cover moving costs. They can also get a lump sum of:
$2000 if they move into private accommodation.
$3000 if they move into social housing.
The chair of the U-Turn Trust, Henare O'Keefe is supportive of people relocating out of Auckland, but says services must be put in place.
O'Keefe says, “I expect the government to be more creative and more benevolent than that, well it's all our problem isn't it because if we don't address it we're all going to inherit that problem generations to come.”
With high housing registers in regions like Hawke's Bay, Hamilton, Tauranga, and Whangarei, Mua says there are just not enough houses in the regions.
“It's not an awful lot of money either they would need to purchase uniforms, set everything up including their children in schools, that's an awful lot of money.”
However, in a statement, Minister Paula Bennett simply said that this is a great opportunity for anyone wanting to take up the offer.