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Minister's spin neglects waiting lists

David Carter National Housing Spokesperson

21 February 2001

Minister's spin neglects waiting lists

The Housing Minister's spin about the decreasing turnover of state houses neglects to mention the huge increase in waiting lists that are the flip side to his Income-Related Rents policy, National's Housing spokesperson David Carter said today.

"The Minister mentions that some state house families are less transient as a result of the policy but forgets about the fact that there are also many state house tenants who won't be moving on to jobs because they will lose their entitlement to an income-related rent.

"What low-income family would want to move out of a state house when they will miss out on the exclusive rent-assistance from the Government?" Mr Carter said.

Mr Gosche told Parliament today that turnover for state houses has decreased from 32% under market rents, to 19% under income-related rents. When questioned about the increase in state house waiting lists since the implementation of his policy Mr Gosche refused to deny that there had been a massive increase.

"Officials predicted more than a year ago that existing tenants would be reluctant to move out of a state house to pursue employment or homeownership because they would lose the assistance.

"280,000 low-income families don't get a bean from this Government's income-related rents policy simply because they don't have the 'right' landlord. They will all be queuing up to get a state house but, thanks to the Minister's policy, there won't be many vacancies.

"Officials predicted that many of these families may be forced to live in worse housing conditions to move up the waiting list for a state house. We don't need families resorting to this sort of desperation but with fewer state houses becoming vacant, as the Minister confirmed, this is more than likely," Mr Carter said.

Ends

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