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Thousands In Need Will Benefit From Slashed Rents

8 November 2000

Thousands In Need Will Benefit From Slashed Rents – But Tenants Must Apply

'I am pleased to announce that we are expecting more than 132,000 low-income people living in state houses will benefit when income-related rents are restored next month," Housing Minister Mark Gosche said today.

"Based on the 42,000 applications processed so far we expect more than 132,000 people – adults and children - to be much better off this December," he said.

"Nearly 60% of all state house tenants will be $20-$60 better off each week."

Next month the Labour-Alliance Coalition will be delivering on a major promise to low-income state house tenants. Statistics New Zealand figures have revealed that the universal market rents regime imposed by the previous Government saw state rents rise 106% from 1992-1999 while inflation rose 12%. Private rents during the same period rose 23%.

"I know the extra dollars will make a huge difference in the lives of many low-income families and parents who have been facing huge rent rises over the past decade."

"This is a way Government can and should act to support those in serious need."

Mr Gosche stressed that state tenants who receive accommodation assistance from the Department of Work and Income New Zealand must apply for an income-related rent because the assistance will cease on December, 1.

"No one is going to be worse off under income related rents as long as everyone applies for their new rent. That's why everyone needs to apply and swap over from their Accommodation Supplement to their new income-related rent."

Mr Gosche commended Housing New Zealand who at the busiest times during the past two months were receiving 1000 calls and applications per day. They managed to maintain an average processing time of merely one week.

"We've had an overwhelming response and Housing New Zealand and Department of Work and Income staff have provided a first-class service and I would like to thank them for their hard work."


Ends

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