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Christmas Rent Relief For Community Agencies

13 December 2000 Media Statement

One hundred and seventy two community agencies nationwide have received more than $2.5 million in rent relief from December 1, 2000 Housing Minister Mark Gosche confirmed today.

The rent relief fund for this financial year was announced in June and followed a budget announcement boosting Community Housing Limited by $28.7 million allowing the purchase and modification of 120 new properties.

"The previous Government's policy to charge community groups such as the women's refuge 'market rents' meant many were forced to spend more money on rent and less on providing their core services," he said.

"In fact some community groups found renting in the private sector a better proposition as Community Housing Ltd was required in some cases to charge rents above the market rent."

"Christmas is a busy time for many of these groups and we know this money will ease the hardship on organisations who provide safe, secure, affordable housing for some of our most vulnerable and at risk families and individuals."

Of the 172 groups, Women's Refuges have received a nationwide rent cut of more than $360,000; the IHC will receive rent relief of more than $100,000 and Plunket is to receive rent relief of more than $70,000.
Mr Gosche said the rent relief fund was the first step towards the development of new community housing rents.

Ends

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