Single mother’s struggle motivates Green’s “Homes not Cars” policy

By Harata Brown

A mother of three shared her own personal struggles regarding Auckland's housing crisis as the Green Party announced its plan to build new state homes for those living rough.

While young Emma fights lung disease, her solo mum struggles to provide shelter for both Emma and her siblings.

"She has like six medications that need to be refrigerated, and she is on a feeding pump overnight it needs power, and I need running water. I have slept in the car, and I can sleep in the car, but I can't take Emma there,” says Emma’s mother who only wanted to be named as Rhiannon.

This beneficiary says they have no fixed abode and have had to rely on friends and family to provide shelter for them.

The Green Party shared Rhiannon's story to launch their new policy 'Homes not Cars' to help those in the same situation as Rhiannon.

Rhiannon says, "At the moment we are at the hospital, or well, Emma and I are. While my other children get moved around, and we would really just like a home. And we really would like someone to rent us a house."

Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei announced, “Aotearoa has a housing emergency facing it right now. It comes after decades of neglect of housing in this country, particularly in state housing."

In their new plan, the Green Party wants Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and refund its tax.

The Greens believe that this will, in turn, free up more than $200mil to build around 450 new homes.

“On top of that, we would stop Housing New Zealand from selling off more state houses. The government has said they want to sell off between 1000-2000 houses a year. We have families who are in desperate need of those homes. Not all of them go to social housing providers, a lot of them just get sold on the private market. That is not good enough,” says Turia.

In the meantime, Turei says they hope their policy will challenge the government as they prepare to announce the Budget next week.