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State Rents Slashed

State Rents Slashed – Millions Invested In New Zealand Families And Communities

"This Christmas thousands of New Zealand families will be able to put fresh fruit and vegetables on the table thanks to the scrapping of market rents," says Housing Minister Mark Gosche.

"Many people struggle to afford the basics of life – like good healthy food because their rents was taking up so much of their meagre income."

From today all state house rents will depend on a tenant's income. Low-income tenants will pay no more than 25% of their income on rent. Other rents will depend on a tenant's income – though no one's rent will rise as a result of the change.

"Low-income state house tenants will be buying basic necessities like food, clothes and paying doctors bills. This will mean a boost of more than $90 million for more than 130,000 low-income people."

"Income-related rents is an investment in some of New Zealand's neediest families and the local community they live in."

"Around 80% of all state tenants will benefit now that income-related rents have been restored with 58% getting between $20-$80 extra each week."

Since 'market rents' were introduced in 1992 state house tenants have faced rent hikes of 106% – private tenants rents rose 23% over the same period, while inflation went up 12%.

Housing New Zealand turnover during this period rose from 12% to 34% as tenants moved regularly because they were unable to pay the rent.

"The end of market rents represents a new beginning for thousands who have been struggling for many years," said Mr Gosche.

"A pleasant surprise for state house tenants is that they are also eligible for a partial refund of their bond paid under the market rents regime – this translates into an average refund of $105 per household."

"The first Christmas of the new Millennium is one in which this Government's moved to relieve the burden placed on some of our poorest families."

"This is just one way in which we are beginning to address the legacy of poverty left by the previous Government."

Ends

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