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May 15, 2016 | by  | in News |
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Government steps in now middle class NZ are at risk

In a pre-budget announcement, Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett declared a plan to fund 3000 emergency housing places over the next four years.

$41.1 million has been put aside to support the initiative.

For centres such as the Wellington Night Shelter the announcement comes at a time of serious financial hardship.

In March, the organisation disclosed a need for an additional $30,000 to accommodate demand for the provision of beds for those in need.

“Right now, the night shelter is only barely surviving, with all our resources focused on keeping our doors open,” said Wellington Night Shelter Trust chairman John Kennedy-Good.

Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the increase of funding for emergency housing is a direct response to the National party’s failure to accommodate “an unprecedented rise in homelessness.”

Twyford said the effect of the housing crisis has extended further than vulnerable New Zealanders, saying it’s now also becoming a problem with middle-class New Zealanders, and called it a “national shame [to] see poverty and squalor on our streets.”

Community Housing Aotearoa director Scott Figenshow is worried that help will not come soon enough, and called for organisations to receive more funding from July to supply a sufficient amount of beds over winter.

While residents of emergency housing are typically required to contribute up to 25 percent towards their bed, the hope for shelters such as the Wellington Night Shelter is to encourage an eventual state of self-sufficiency.

 

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