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State House Sales Outnumber Purchases

Sales of state houses by Housing New Zealand have outnumbered new purchases in the first six months since the election, figures released by ACT’s Housing spokesman Dr Muriel Newman, show. “These figures make a mockery of the Labour Party’s pre-election pledge to halt the sale of state houses,” she says.

The figures, contained in a response by Housing Minister Mark Gosche to a Parliamentary question from Dr Newman, show a total of 182 state houses were sold from December to May this year. That compared with purchases of just 158 houses for the same six months.

Revenue from state house asset sales since November 1999 totalled $37 million. “For all Labour’s talk about focus on the public sector provision, they appear to be increasingly relying on private sector provision, with leasing and subleasing arrangements” Dr Newman said.

“Leasing from the private sector is an attempt to bolster state house numbers without going to the trouble and expense of actually purchasing them,” she said. “Why can’t people rent from the owner directly, instead of the Government stepping in and leasing these houses only to then sub-lease them?

It’s just so much unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy, and it doesn’t actually add to the supply of housing,” Dr Newman said. Leased and sub-leased housing acquired for the six months totalled 90 housing units.


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