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Alliance To Deal With Housing Shortage

9 July 2002

Alliance Leader Laila Harré today released her party’s Housing Policy, saying the Alliance had a very strong commitment to making sure every New Zealander had access to affordable, high quality housing.

“Every New Zealander is entitled to live in comfortable accommodation, no matter what the level of their income – at the moment that isn’t happening. There’s a shortage of state houses right throughout the country, and the Alliance wants to address that obvious need”

Laila Harré said the introduction of income-related rents for state house tenants had benefited many households, but much more needed to be done to address serious housing problems which still existed, particularly for the urban poor and rural Maori.

“Because the state only provides less than a quarter of New Zealand’s rental stock, many low income families renting in the private sector have not benefited from income related rents.

“There are currently 11 000 households waiting for a state house. Through a combination of new builds and leases from private owners, the Alliance will increase the number of state houses by 2100 per year over the next 6 years, to make sure those families are housed sooner rather than later.”

Laila Harré said the importance of maintaining rent prices is also a key part of the Alliance policy.

She says the party will work hard to make sure the recent price hikes for those living in pensioner flats are reversed.

“We want to see affordable accommodation for pensioners, and will offer low interest loans to Councils and other agencies to provide pensioner housing. The one condition will be that the rent is set to only cover the cost of providing the accommodation.”

The Alliance will also support a low interest, low deposit housing scheme for first home buyers and will actively work with iwi and other community groups in developing ‘rent to buy’ schemes to combat the housing shortage in rural areas.

Laila Harré said the release of AMP’s Home Affordability Survey yesterday, which showed that home affordability has plunged by 14% in the June quarter, highlighted the importance of the Alliance’s low interest housing scheme in helping those on low incomes buy their first home.

Ends

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