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Easing Poverty The First Priority

"The Government can't afford to flog off any more Housing New Zealand properties," Housing Minister Mark Gocshe said today.

"When state rents go down, we must be able to meet the demand of tenants who will once again be able to afford to live in state houses."

"For some Kiwi families it will mean the difference between living in a garage or a house. It'll be the difference between living in a secure home or taking your kids to an emergency shelter. So for now, the home buy scheme is on hold."

"But it's also important to note that the previous government sold more state homes to developers and wealthy investors than low income families."

Mr Gosche said a recent study found one in three Kiwi children live below the poverty line and high housing costs were to blame.

"The former government forced market rentals on state house tenants and in doing so forced thousands of families below the poverty line. That report actually said poverty was more likely to be found in the homes of Housing New Zealand tenants," the Minister of Housing Mark Gosche said today.

"This Government is committed to making decent housing affordable for New Zealanders and to do this we must hold on to the properties we do own," said Mr Gosche.


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