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Housing.  One of the hot topics for this year’s election, and rightly so.  The roof over your head, the warmth in winter and the safety of your own place for your family is important to every New Zealander, and it’s important for us as a government.

When New Zealand homes were first built, double glazing was not required, and most houses didn’t have insulation or adequate heating which made for drafty and cold homes.  Putting in place our Warm and Dry Programme at a cost of $81.3million has seen 25,630 households warmed up since June 2015.

An investment of $35.8 million over the next financial year will see a further 10,200 tenants in social houses upgraded with new heating, ventilation and thermal curtains under the Warm and Dry programme.

This is all part of the $1.4 billion that Housing New Zealand has spent over the last three years on maintenance and upgrades to its social housing.

We will be growing the number of social housing available, from 66,400 today to 72,000 over the next three years.  This is targeting those who are most vulnerable in our country and ensuring they have their basic needs met.

In Auckland, we’re undertaking the biggest housing project since the 1950s, building 34,000 new houses over the next 10 years. This is on top of the hundreds more social houses being built in areas of high-demand, like Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton.

We never know what life may throw at us, and sometimes we can find ourselves in a position where we need emergency help just until we get back on our feet.  Having a place to go either in an emergent situation or during a critical life transition is part of National’s plan.  We’re taking action that no other Government has, to tackle homelessness, which includes our $20 million investment into Housing First to help long-term chronically homeless into secure housing.

For the first time, the Government is providing permanent funding to transitional housing – helping 8,600 (2150 transitional houses) families every year with a warm, safe place to stay while they get back on their feet while providing wraparound social support. Special needs grants for emergency housing are also available to people in urgent need so no one needs to sleep in a car.

Alone you can go fast, but together you go further.  National is committed to building a country where we all go forward together.

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