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Friday, 26 April 2019 11:43 am

Homelessness and housing an increasing issue for Wellington

Sep 29th, 2016 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

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Wellington’s mayoral candidates front Whitireia Journalism and Broadcasting students.

The government needs to do more to solve Wellington’s homelessness crisis, not the council, say mayoral candidates.

Mayoral candidates Jo Coughlin, Justin Lester, Nick Leggett, Nicola Young, Helene Ritchie and Andy Foster attended a NewsWire news conference to discuss Wellington issues this week.

Wellington region has had one of the largest increases in homelessness, according to an article written by Stuff.

Jo Coughlan

Jo Coughlan

Jo Coughlan says there is no one solution because it is a complex issue.

“There is no one size fits all for this, it’s been a problem for 200 years and if it was simple then it wouldn’t be a problem that we needed to fix,” she says.

Candidates linked the growth of homelessness to housing, unemployment, mental health issues and addictions.

Justin Lester

Justin Lester

Justin Lester says the council needs to get people into homes first before trying to help them with what they’re going through.

“Housing first, so getting people off the streets and into homes so that means getting them on benefits if they’re entitled to them or aren’t on them,” he says.

Nick Leggett

Nick Leggett

Nick Leggett says more pressure needs to be put on the government to stop homelessness because the council can only do so much to try and solve the problem.

“Council’s primary role is to advocate and facilitate, it’s not to take the place of government services.”

“We’ve got to get to the core responsibilities and hold government to account and at the same time ensure that we know who the people are and what their particular life issues are,” he says.

Nicola Young

Nicola Young

Nicola Young wanted council and government to work together to solve the issue.

“We need to continue working with the central government and we need more help from the social welfare agencies,” she says.
Helene Ritchie said homelessness is not only a significant issue within the Wellington, but around the country.

“We have to understand that housing and adequate shelter is a human right and in the United Nations Declaration human rights.”

She said New Zealand used to be proud of ensuring everyone had housing and equality of opportunity.

“This country had adequate state housing for everyone.”

“This government has ensured that housing has been let run down, has not been maintained, has been sold, has been sold off in front of other people who live there, and has been demolished in my ward and in other wards around the city and around the country.”








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