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Govt Has Wrong Policies To Fight Housing Crisis

Tuesday 7 May 2002

ACT Housing Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today said the rapidly emerging housing crisis in Auckland is unlikely to be resolved under the policies of the Labour-led Government..

"Waiting lists have soared since this Government removed market rentals from State houses.

""Because there is no mechanism for graduating people into their own homes there will never be enough houses. There is no incentive for tenants to ever leave state houses now - so they don't. The result is spiralling waiting lists as homeless people wait for houses that never become vacant.

"This Government has its housing policy completely the wrong way round. By saying it will spend more money on more houses it is simply luring more people into a life of dependency.

"Some people have been in state houses for more than 60 years. Official figures show that over 1000 have been in state housing for more than 40 years. The average duration of Housing NZ tenancies has risen to nearly seven years.

"State housing was only ever supposed to be a short-term helping hand for the needy - not a lifelong cycle of dependence. What is needed is regular monitoring of people in state housing, with assistance provided so that people can take charge of their financial affairs, save money and eventually move on.

"Unless there is a substantial change in Government policy towards state housing then the existing problems will become worse," Dr Newman said.

Ends

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