Huge sum spent on emergency accommodation sparks calls to build social housing instead

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1 NEWS

The government is being criticised for spending vast sums of money trying to house the homeless in emergency accommodation instead of building social housing.

So far in 2017, the Government's spent $550 million to house Kiwis without a place of their own.
Source: 1 NEWS

New figures show the Government has spent $550 million in the first three months of this year to house people, including nearly $9 million renting motels and other emergency accommodation.

It means $6.2 million is being spent each day housing the homeless.

Greens co-leader James Shaw says the Government is funneling taxpayer money into property investment, "and they are spending $100,000 a night on motels alone". 

"If we had been building houses instead then we wouldn't need to be providing this level of support," he said.

But the waiting list for social housing is still growing - up two per cent in three months. 

Homeless mother Genesis and her two young boys have been homeless for 10 weeks. 

"My oldest boy, he just knows that he's different from the other kids now because he doesn't have a house," she told 1 NEWS.

She's being looked after by an Auckland housing trust, Island Child Charitable Trust.

"These government top-up schemes, all they do is keep you treading water when you're almost drowning," said Danielle Bergin of the trust.

The government says it is creating another 6500 places.

"They're flat out getting the money spent now. I mean there's just finding the places, getting the housing built," said Prime Minister Bill English.

But that's just not quick enough for Genesis and her children.

"Can you please help home me and my children?" 

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