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2,500 waiting for state house waiting list

David Carter National Housing Spokesperson

5 March 2001

2,500 waiting for state house waiting list

National's Housing spokesperson David Carter today released figures that show there were 2,572 people waiting to be assessed to go on the already burgeoning state house waiting list at the end of December 2000.

National obtained the figures under the Official Information Act, one day after Housing New Zealand had cited 'data problems' in refusing to release them to media.

"We now have a waiting list for the waiting list. This is crazy. It is two months since those figures were compiled and it took Housing New Zealand six weeks to release them. How much has the waiting list for the waiting list blown out to now?

"Housing New Zealand is still refusing to release the information by region. It must be available as information is generally collected by each region and then collated into a national figure. After all, who is doing the assessing? It is unacceptable for Housing New Zealand to hide figures from the public.

"Nationwide, the state house waiting list jumped from 10,038 in October last year to 11,493 at the end of January. The number of 'at risk' families waiting for a state house has skyrocketed from 59 to 681 in only three months.

"The Income-Related Rents policy has created a desperation among low-income families who are queuing to get on the waiting list for a state house. Next we will be seeing what officials predicted - families deliberately worsening their housing situation to get a higher place on the waiting list.

"The Government must address the blow-out in waiting lists. Housing New Zealand clearly can't keep up with demand from low-income families wanting to join the waiting list and it is unlikely that many state houses will become vacant for them to move into because of this policy," Mr Carter said.

Ends

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