Saturday, 26 June 2021

Kāinga Ora’s uncaring double standards


“The Labour Government needs to explain why a terminally ill state housing tenant was left fighting to get a heat pump in the middle winter when private landlords have a looming deadline to have them installed,” says ACT’s Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“Housing Minister Megan Woods said recently “…with some landlords as there is in any sector of society - yes, there is more need for compassion?”

“Where is the compassion from Labour for a dying man who’s been asking for help for months?

“In answer to a Written Parliamentary Question from the ACT Party, Associate Housing Minister Poto Williams said “during the first year of its Healthy Homes Programme, Kāinga Ora focused on tenants with the highest health needs…. In addition, it is refining its process to escalate high risk cases when needed.”

“The hypocrisy from Government is staggering. It paints private landlords as villains but has given itself an additional two years to meet the Health Homes Standards and is leaving sick New Zealanders in the cold.

“It was only after the media became involved that this family suddenly became a priority. 

“It’s time the Government stopped dividing New Zealanders and dropped the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ attitude.

“Many landlords have told us they have held their rent as low as they could to protect their vulnerable tenants but because of the Government’s changes they now have no choice but to sell.

“The Minister needs to explain why she has such high standards for landlords when she’s not bothering to meet them herself.”

Written Parliamentary Question:

Portfolio: Housing (Associate - Hon Poto Williams)
Question: What criteria, if any, is used to determine which Kāinga Ora homes should have first priority when ensuring that state owned homes meet the Government's Healthy Homes Standards?
Reply: Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities advises me that during the first year of its Healthy Homes Programme, Kāinga Ora focused on tenants with the highest health needs. To maximize efficiency and minimize disruption to its tenants, Kāinga Ora, in conjunction with its Maintenance Partners, is refining the delivery approach to take a street by street / suburb approach. In addition, it is refining its process to escalate high risk cases when needed.