By Will Trafford of Whakaata Maori
Kāinga Ora, the government's housing arm has demolished more houses in 2022, than it built, according to data from the department.
Information from the Government Housing Dashboard reveals 202 houses have been demolished since January, while just 193 have been built, a net loss of nine homes.
The stats come as National is slamming Labour's housing policies as "failed", alleging it has spent more than $1 billion on emergency housing since it came to power.
"Labour promised they would solve New Zealand's housing crisis. Five years on, taxpayers have paid more than $1 billion in Emergency Housing Special Needs Grants, mainly to motels, with thousands of people living in motels for months at a time," National's Housing spokesperson Nicola Willis says.
"The Government says state houses are the solution, but have allowed the state house waiting list to explode from fewer than 6000 people when National left office, to more than 27,000 today."
The government's emergency housing policy is a "get-rich-quick scheme" for motel owners Willis says but adds it's been "disastrous" for vulnerable families.'
National would partner with community housing providers to build more social housing Willis says, she says they'd "remove resource management act (RMA) barriers", and work with local government to fund infrastructure.
"The community housing sector is ready and willing to grow, they just need a Government that will back them," she said.
Willis panned the government's KiwiBuild, home-building plan, saying under 2 per cent of homes promoted during Labour's Election campaign, have actually been constructed.
"Only 1365 of the 100,000 Kiwibuild homes promised have been delivered," she said.
Motels were a short-term fix to Aotearoa's housing problems Willis says, but claims under Labour, it is seen as a solution.
"The Government seems to have given up on solving underlying drivers of emergency housing need, instead opting for the short-term approach of writing a big cheque and looking the other way," Willis said.
"Labour has failed on housing. The state house waitlist has quadrupled, rents are up to $150 per week and now the Government has spent $1 billion on housing people in motels."
Kāinga Ora has previously championed what it called "deconstruction" projects, in which it demolishes and recycles existing houses, to make way for new, but much higher density social housing, particularly in urban areas like Tāmaki Makaurau.
In Budget 2021, the Government committed $730 million for Māori housing developments like papakāinga– including a $380 million promise to build 1000 homes.
Housing Minister Megan Woods has been approached for comment.