Housing crisis

The government’s commitment to solving the housing crisis is in doubt with only a handful of staff working on tenancy issues

It comes at a time when rents are skyrocketing. The release of the Department for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) rental services rental obligation data for December 2021 showed that median rents nationally reached $540 per week , up $50 from a year ago – the largest annual increase on record.

And for many people, buying a home just isn’t a realistic prospect. Median residential property prices in New Zealand rose 20.5% from $730,300 in January 2021 to $880,000 in January 2022, according to the Real Estate Institute.

Geordie Rogers of Renters United says the government needs more than six political staff committed to helping renters.

“I definitely don’t think it’s good enough,” he told Newshub.

“We have massive work programs that the government is committed to, like regulating property managers, and even if you look at a sample of six people – even if they’re the best researchers in the world – I think that’s is enough. Clearly you need more people working on it to make sure you understand the scale of the problem.”

Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick says far too many of the 1.4 million New Zealanders who rent are forced to live without their basic needs being met.

“Political decisions have turned housing in this country into a pyramid scheme and political decisions and prioritization is the only thing that will change that,” she told Newshub.

“I have no doubt that the 5.95 FTE employees work the hardest. The problem is that there are only half a dozen employees responsible for leading work that is supposed to be a key government priority. , probably detached on other issues as they arise.

“Tenants can no longer be left behind.”