Thursday, May 30, 2019

The cash benefit fuelling NZ’s housing crisis

OPINION: It is a major-ticket subsidy that helps support over half a million New Zealanders and is received by 100,000 more households than JobSeeker and Sole Parent Support combined. Yet, surprisingly it flies under the radar.

The Accommodation Supplement (AS) deserves far more attention – more infamy and ignominy. While it is supposed to help with housing costs to protect living standards of low-income people, most recipients are still consigned to poverty, and its bad design actually helps fuel New Zealand’s housing crisis. Meanwhile, many low-wage workers miss out on AS because they don’t know they’re entitled to it, or because it requires them to go to Work and Income, or because the value of their assets is above the extremely strict... Read More