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Low Income Tenants Helped

Low Income Tenants Helped

Nearly 53,200 low-income state house tenants are now paying an income related rent, saving on average about $35 every week, Housing Minister Mark Gosche said today.

Marking the second anniversary of the introduction of the policy this week Mr Gosche said income related rents were putting extra money into the hands of those most in need.

“On average we estimate that state tenants have an extra $35 every week as a result, and in some areas of Auckland that figure is between $50-$60.”

Under the income related rents policy, low income state tenants pay no more than 25 percent of their incomes in rent.

The government’s purchase of the Auckland City Council housing stock means another 1700 tenants will be eligible to apply, said Mr Gosche.

“The allocation system this government introduced has clearly being successful in making sure that state houses go to those most in need. While Housing New Zealand has 60,500 properties, there have been only seven cases challenging Housing New Zealand decisions, taken to the State Housing Appeals Authority in the last two years.”

Another major benefit of income related rents is that turnover in state houses has nearly halved, from 32% in June 2000 to less than 17% now because people no longer have to move on because they can’t afford the rent, said Mr Gosche.

“Family lives are stabilised as a result. Comments from teachers suggest that children are more likely to stay at one school as a result. That has the potential to give the children a better chance to do well at school.”

Mr Gosche said that the government had acquired about 1600 state houses in the last three years, and there are plans to add another 3000 in the next four years.

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