What's the solution to new Zealand's homelessness crisis? The central problem is that thanks to National's selling down the stock, there are no longer enough state houses to cope with demand. The long-term solution clearly has to be building more. Today, the Greens recommended a simple solution to make a start on that: letting Housing New Zealand keep its dividend:
Housing New Zealand should build hundreds of new state homes for Kiwis living in cars and garages with hundreds of millions it currently pays to the Government, the Green Party says.
The party has unveiled its Homes Not Cars policy at an event in Auckland, saying it would allow Housing NZ to keep the dividend it currently has to pay to the Government - while also refunding its tax.
The Greens say their policy would free up $207 million for the "emergency building" of around 450 new state houses.
The idea of government agencies paying "dividends" to the government, effectively handing back part of their budget rather than spending it on services, is something which has never made sense. ending it for this vital agency would allow it to focus on its core job of building houses, rather than making money go round in circles. And while 450 homes a year isn't a lot, its at least a start - which is more than National is doing.