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Loan scheme opens the door - but only a crack

Loan scheme opens the door - but only a crack

The Government must capitalise on its scheme to help low income earners buy a house by following up with further measures to alleviate New Zealand's impending housing crisis, said Green MP Sue Bradford.

The Green Housing spokesperson said the scheme is a good start and could help relieve some of enormous pressure currently placed on state housing.

"We are facing a housing crisis in New Zealand on two fronts," said Ms Bradford. "Waiting lists for state housing are bursting at the seams while many middle and lower income families have found it increasingly difficult to buy their own homes.

"These factors have combined to present a dangerous situation which has threatened to undermine the social and economic fabric of New Zealand.

"I applaud the Government for taking this step now to assist New Zealanders in buying their own homes.

"In many parts of the country, including the greatest centre of the population, Auckland, many middle and lower income families have been frozen out of the Kiwi dream to own their own homes.

"Hopefully this will help redress the imbalance caused by foreign property speculators snapping up New Zealand land at bargain basement prices due to the foreign exchange rates.

"I am hopeful that many state house tenants will take the opportunity to own their own property and thus relieve some pressure on the waiting list."

Ms Bradford said that the Government must see this as a good first step and be prepared to address other problems that have greatly impacted on the prospects of middle to lower income New Zealand families.

"A scheme like this is just the beginning. If the Government could see its way to support my new Private Members Bill, the Social Security (Child Benefit) Amendment Bill, then we can start making a real difference in the lives of New Zealand families by reintroducing capitalised deposits, which for many decades was used by families to buy their first homes.

"But let's not forget: One of the biggest pressures that has kept young New Zealanders from buying homes is the huge burden of the student loan scheme. The sooner we see the back of this terribly short-sighted scheme the better," said Ms Bradford.

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