Friday, March 19, 2021

National: "Emergency Motels Have Taxpayers Over A Barrel"

 National is at last complaining about an issue I (and probably others) was blogging about over a year ago.

National’s Housing spokesperson Nicola Willis says the Government is relying too much on using hotels and motels as emergency housing, which has seen the owners of these establishments charge prices as high as $440 a night.

In  relation to one Olive Tree Motel OIA questions were asked about accommodation payments:

"Clients are granted an amount which is paid directly to the motel.

In the June 2019 quarter the motel was receiving $265 per night.

But nightly charges per unit range from $145 to $165 according to their website. Charges reduce for longer stays"

But good on National for getting onto not just the issue of cost but the problems of moving people who are often dysfunctional and criminal into cramped, close spaces which just aggravate their behaviour. Their well-attended meetings in the provinces to discuss this most pressing issue have also been well-covered by the media. 

It's hard to take Green MP Marama Davidson's response seriously - divert away from government failure to accusations of racism yet again. 


Brendan McNeill said...

Perhaps the additional $100+ per night, is to cover the additional 'effort' in managing this particular clientele? On that basis it's probably justified.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

I'm sure owners have weighed up the 'certain' money from MSD versus the 'uncertain' money from guests. I don't think you can do both for long. The complexes are probably at the lower end of the market and approaching use by date. So, no, I don't blame them for hiking the rates either. But the point is this isn't a sustainable or justifiable solution on any count.

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Lindsay

I’m guessing the more MSD customers they had, the fewer fee paying guests they were likely to attract. But yes, you are probably right, these are ‘end of life’ motels, and the owners are making the best of it. You cannot blame them.

The problem is with this government, and also previous governments who have through their policy settings created a significant underclass whose learned helplessness and benefit dependent lifestyle makes them undesirable tenants in the commercial rental market.

State house building cannot match the demand, and no one wants to see them homeless and on the street. The only way to address this problem is to take the long view, and reduce the supply side of the equation. Even with a determined government(s) it will take decades to make any impact. In the meantime, this.

Hilary Taylor said...

Trying to recall if anything Davidson says can be taken seriously. Lazy politicians play the race card ad nauseum. It's all she has evidently. For a long while now Ive mused on a 'project'- like medium-rise dwelling for all these folk who soak up time, energy & dosh...with security guards. I wonder if the govt has tried to buy any of these motel complexes?