Doubts using 'ghost houses' for Auckland homeless will work

Publish Date
Fri, 31 Jan 2020, 10:18AM

Doubts using 'ghost houses' for Auckland homeless will work

Publish Date
Fri, 31 Jan 2020, 10:18AM

Empty homes are being touted as a possible solution for Auckland's struggling families.

Auckland Council is talking to the Government about ways of using the thousands of "ghost houses" lying empty around the city.

Mayor Phill Goff says they could approach homeowners about renting their houses to middle-income workers such as teachers, nurses, and police officers.

Some are holiday homes, but a portion are deliberately left empty while they increase in value.

But Monte Cecilia Housing Trust CEO Bernie Smith told Mike Hosking he doubts the idea will work.

"Somebody owns it and not only do they own it, it's empty for a reason and if they had any empathy for homeless people then they would have offered them up."

Smith says at the end of the day it should be the homeowner's prerogative. 

But he does believe the idea has merit and that there is need for such a scheme. 

"We have now got working-class families who are not only becoming homeless but are forced into poverty because rents are rising," Smith told Mike Hosking. 

"Under this government we have gone from a housing crisis to a housing disaster," Smith said.