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Restoration Of Income-Related Rentals

Restoration Of Income-Related Rentals Makes Christmas Brighter For Low Income Nzers


Prime Minister Helen Clark said today that the restoration of income-related rents for low-income state house tenants from tomorrow was another major step towards a fairer, decent society in which New Zealanders felt more secure.

Helen Clark was speaking in Hamilton this afternoon, where she met state tenants in the suburb of Fairfield.

"Tomorrow's restoration of income-related rents attacks poverty head-on.

”In line with the Government's election pledge, all state house rents now depend on a tenant's income. Low-income state tenants will pay no more than a quarter of their income on rent , leaving 60 per cent of all state households $20-$80 a week better off.

"The previous Government's market rents regime saw state rents rise 106% since 1992 while inflation rose 12% during the same period. Private rents were to rise 23% during the same period and there was a huge sell-off of publicly-owned housing.

"From Friday 1 December, Hamilton residents Sue Anderson, Heather and James Tuhoro and Gladys Martin will see substantial reductions in the rent they are paying on their state-owned houses.

"Sue Anderson, for example, who rents a four-bedroom home, will be left with almost $60 extra in the hand.

"Heather Tuhoro will have an extra $80 per week.

"In my own Mt Albert electorate, nearly 1,800 low-income tenants in state houses will also be getting rent relief from tomorrow.

"The charging of market rentals on state housing highlighted the very worst aspects of the National Party's hard right agenda between 1990 and 1999.

"Market rentals condemned thousands of low-income New Zealanders to live in poverty, spawning a range of related health and other problems.

"This sad era is now firmly behind us. Another bonus this government has delivered to those who are struggling this Christmas is the partial bond refunds – on average a one-off refund of $105.

"The government is also spending $700 million assisting low-income people renting privately or buying homes.

"As a Government we're proud to deliver a huge election promise – two years ahead of schedule, and make Christmas brighter for thousands of low income families," Helen Clark said.

State tenants who have yet to apply for an income-related rental should contact their local Housing New Zealand office immediately, as the new rents will be back-dated to 1 December, 2000.


Ends

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