National | Housing

Higher numbers of Māori on the housing waiting list

A report released today shows an increase in the numbers of Māori listed on the Housing Register.

The latest Public Housing Quarterly Report for March 2019 shows 46 percent of those on the Housing Register list were Māori, as at March 31, 2019.

In March 2018 there were approximately 3,550 Māori on the list, a year later that figure rose to 5,091.

Overall there are 40 percent more people who have applied for public housing compared to the same time last year.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford says the housing crisis was created over a decade and isn’t going to be fixed overnight.

“It’s going to take a concerted effort over many years to end homelessness,” he says.

Between January and March 2019 Twyford says the waiting list grew by 3 percent, compared to a 12 percent increase last quarter.

While it is the smallest quarterly increase in the waiting list in two years, he says it is too early to say housing need has plateaued.

“But we are well on track to make 6,400 new public housing places available over the next four years," he says.

“Over the past quarter, the number of public housing places available rose by 255 to 68,280.  That is an increase of 1,698 homes over the past 12 months for families in need.

From January to March 2019, a total of 1,357 families and individuals also came off the state housing waiting list and into permanent homes.