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511 empty state houses

David Carter National Housing Spokesperson

Sunday 15 April 2001

511 empty state houses

"There are 511 vacant state houses ready to be tenanted. But they aren't able to be used by the 823 families on the urgent waiting list or the more than 9,000 people waiting for a state house," National's Housing spokesperson David Carter said today.

Answers to parliamentary questions by Mr Carter have revealed that there are 798 vacant state houses, and of these 511 can be tenanted immediately.

"Having more than 500 houses sitting empty while almost 800 families with urgent housing needs are waiting for somewhere to live is crazy," Mr Carter said.

In Auckland 131 houses are empty while 537 urgent need families are waiting for appropriate housing. Christchurch has 36 empty houses and only 19 urgent need families waiting. In Wellington, there are 102 empty houses ready to be tenanted and 120 urgent need families waiting for a state house.

"The only assumption that can be made is that the 511 houses are too small to meet the needs of those on the waiting list. If that is the case, they should be sold so appropriate housing can be built.

"Mr Gosche is too ideologically driven to see common sense.

"These figures show that this Government is unresponsive to the needs of low-income families," Mr Carter said.

Ends

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