Nicholas Jones is a New Zealand Herald political reporter.

Paula Bennett corrects housing statement

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett has corrected an earlier statement that 3000 emergency housing places to be funded by the Government are new.

Ms Bennett made a statement before question time in Parliament, correcting her answer on May 10.

"I should have said that the funding would be for 3000 places, and that some of those would be new and some will go to the many emergency housing providers who require dedicated, ongoing funding so they can keep their doors open," she said today.

The Green Party had attacked the minister for her earlier statement, saying New Zealanders had been misled into thinking new emergency housing places were on the way.

Budget 2016 will include $41.1 million for 3000 emergency housing places a year, and comes as reports of desperate people sleeping in cars and garages puts a spotlight on the issue.

The funding follows the first-ever review of emergency housing in a field traditionally left to charity.

The Government is expected to call for tenders for agencies to provide the places, and contracts are expected to be in place by September.

Many of the 3000 places are likely to be already provided by organisations, so are are not new. But Ms Bennett said providers had told her they would face closure without the new government funding.

- NZ Herald

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