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Housing needs a new direction

Housing needs a new direction

The Budget had nothing in it for people who want to own their own homes, despite claims by the Minister of Finance that housing is key to social development, says National.

National Housing Spokesperson Dr Wayne Mapp says the announcement for an extra 318 state houses and 77 community houses over four years is fundamentally misdirected.

"It will not address the huge waiting lists for state houses which had reached 11,627 by 31 March. As one commentator put it, the number is so small it would only be useful in a small country like Fiji.

"If the Government really wants more rental units it should simply rent them from the private sector. Plenty of people want to lease their private rental properties to Housing New Zealand," he says.

"This Budget doesn't give state tenants the opportunity to buy their houses, and does not address the much needed reform of tenancies. The Government's system means there is a lifetime expectation of tenancy without any review. This is wrong.

"If the Government was serious about boosting social development, it would be encouraging long-term tenants to either buy their existing state houses or buy on the private market.

"Either way, property and money would be freed up for the most pressing cases," Dr Mapp said.

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