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Labour's Housing Policy Misses The Point

9 May 2002

United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says Labour's $72 million plan to build more state houses is missing the point.

"This programme is not designed to do anything to help alleviate the housing problem - it is simply a bribe to low income New Zealanders to switch their votes from the tatters of the Alliance to Labour," he says.

Mr Dunne says that there will remain a crisis in the provision of housing for low income earners as long as state tenancies remain open-ended.

"The current system is grossly unfair because it means once in a state house, it is nigh impossible to be forced to move on, which means that those lucky enough to get a state house are well looked after, while the rest suffer."

"Building more and more state houses is not the answer if nothing else changes," he says.

Mr Dunne says the only way to make dramatic roads into improving housing requirements is to put all new Housing New Zealand tenancies on a fixed-term basis.

"United Future favours a five year term for all new state house tenancies."

"State housing was never designed as a lifestyle choice, but rather as a means of helping people in need through difficult times."

"We have lost that focus completely which is why the current policy is so unfair."

"This $72 million would be far better spent making it possible for those state tenants who can afford to do so to buy their own homes, thus freeing up their existing state houses for those in real need," he says.

Ends

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