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In Need Of A Home? Don't Ask Labour

In Need Of A Home? Don't Ask Labour

Monday 26 Jan 2004 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Other

ACT New Zealand Housing Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today expressed concern - but not surprise - at new information that has revealed a huge increase in the number of people urgently awaiting state housing.

"Answers to my written Parliamentary Questions show that, since November 30 2001, there has been a 65 percent increase in the number of people awaiting state housing on Housing New Zealand's `at risk' waiting list," Dr Newman said.

"As of the end of November 2003, there were 203 people on HNZC's `at risk' waiting list. This is followed by 4,934 whom HNZC deemed to be in `serious need' - a 20 percent increase since 2001. Overall, the number of people in need of state housing has risen 24 percent - from 10,110 to 12,575 - in around two years.

"The Government's housing policy, however, means this comes as no surprise. By introducing income-related rents, Labour ensured that state housing tenants no longer move on - why leave a house with rent of $40 when market rents are up to six times higher?

"Like all Government assistance, state housing is supposed to provide a safety net. Tenants move in, and then are moved on as soon as their situation improves. Under Labour, however, tenants are remaining in these houses for years - last year I revealed that one family rented a state house, worth $697,000, for 32 years and paid only $58 a week.

"More and more people need a roof over their heads, and these numbers will continue to rise. The Government must urgently introduce time limits for state houses, to ensure that those with lower needs can move on and make way for families in desperate circumstances.

"Labour's housing policy is proving detrimental to the country, and harming our most vulnerable people. This situation must be addressed immediately - families in urgent need should be receiving state welfare assistance as a priority," Dr Newman said.


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