In less than four weeks, New Zealand will be affected by the winter season. And within that period of time, the nation’s government will secure warm and safe housing for every homeless citizen.
The news was announced on Facebook by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and housing minister Phil Twyford. Though the emergency housing package will cost a whopping $100 million, many believe it is a worthwhile investment if every homeless person is cared for.
“We’re pulling out all the stops to support people in need and urgently increase housing supply this winter,” announced Twyford. “Our government will make sure everyone is helped to find warm, dry housing.”
According to The Guardian, there are approximately 40,000 homeless people in the country. With winter expected to begin on June 1, the government has put out an urgent call for anyone with extra accommodation to open their homes to homeless people. Shearers quarters, private rental properties, motorhomes, and Maori meeting houses are all being considered.
“We’ve really made a plea today, any marae, any seasonal housing that might be available, please contact us, we’ll work alongside you,” said Ardern. “As soon as we came into government we knew we wouldn’t be able to physically build the houses we’d need by May, when winter was really starting to bite. So we acknowledge this is emergency, this is transitional [housing], but we couldn’t stand by and see people in cars or completely unsuitable housing in the meantime.”
The Prime Minister added that her team has been in touch with “front line service providers,” such as Housing New Zealand, and has instructed them to be “supportive” and “flexible” with those in need. In the Facebook Live Video (below), Tyword asserted: “No one should be sleeping in a car this winter.” Ardern seconded: “Absolutely. No one.”
Watch the video below:
It’s a bold move by a progressive nation. If New Zealand is successful in its mission to secure housing for every homeless person, will other countries follow suit? Please comment your thoughts below and share this news!
Source: The Guardian
Image Credit: Flickr