In her article titled, “The moving experience of homeless people,’ published under Viewlink in our February 1, 2016 issue, its author (Labour Party Policy Council Member) Priyanca Radhakrishnan had said, “A policy that pays people who are vulnerable to leave their home – a city that they are familiar with, where the family is, where their children go to school – to move to the provinces is a policy that potentially promotes social isolation.”
In our Editorial in the same issue, we had interpreted her as arguing ‘rather vociferously that evicting people from state houses in places like Auckland and moving them to smaller towns and provinces is not the solution to the imploding problems related to housing.’
It would appear that our interpretation itself was subject to interpretation.
The Office of Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett issued the following statement:
“The Government is not evicting people from state houses in Auckland and making them move to other towns against their will. The Minister has said she is considering offering people on the Social Housing Register – that is, those without a home who are waiting to get into social housing – financial incentives to move to areas outside Auckland where there is less demand and where they’ll be housed more quickly. They would have a choice and would be supported to move, but no decisions have been made yet about whether this policy will be implemented or how it would work exactly. The Government’s priority is to ensure that people get a roof over their heads more quickly, and this is one way that could help that.”