Doubling of housing waiting list shows need for urgent action on housing crisis

Kāpiti Coast mayoral candidate Gwynn Compton can reveal that the number of applications on the Public Housing Register in Kāpiti has more than doubled in the past two years, with Housing New Zealand failing to keep up with growing demand. The news highlights the district’s worsening housing crisis and shows that urgent action needs to be taken by both central government and Kāpiti Coast District Council to address the issue.

“With the number of applications on the Public Housing Register more than doubling from 40 in January 2017, to 98 in January 2019, and the Government only looking to add an additional 40 social housing places in Kāpiti, it’s clear that not enough is being done to address Kāpiti’s worsening housing crisis. We urgently need new leadership in Kāpiti to work with the Government and ensure vulnerable families in Kāpiti have roofs over their heads, and also to bring rapidly rising house prices and rents under control by increasing the overall supply of housing,” says Mr Compton.

If the sharp growth in the Public Housing Register over the past two years isn’t concerning enough, Kāpiti’s housing crisis is poised to only get worse, with Transmission Gully opening in late 2020 and creating even more demand on Kāpiti’s housing stock.

“It’s not good enough for Mayor K Gurunathan to pass the buck on providing social housing to central government. Other councils in our wider region continue to demonstrate that local government can and should play a meaningful role in this space, especially when working in partnership with central government,” says Mr Compton.

Gwynn Compton is also raising concerns over the lack of action on the recommendations from the Kāpiti Coast Communities Housing Taskforce, who presented a report on Kāpiti’s housing crisis to Council in August 2017.

“Nobody is pretending Kāpiti’s housing crisis can be fixed overnight, or that Kāpiti can deal with it on our own. But this crisis can’t be solved unless meaningful action is taken, or the recommendations from groups like the Kāpiti Coast Communities Housing Taskforce aren’t acted on with a sense of urgency.

“Nearly two years have been wasted waiting for Kāpiti Coast District Council to show some leadership on the housing crisis. Meanwhile, people are being forced out of Kāpiti by fast rising house prices and rents, and more and more vulnerable families are paying the price for Council inaction.”