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Maharey Attacks, But Offers No Housing Answers

Maharey Attacks, But Offers No Housing Answers

Tuesday 27 Jan 2004
Dr Muriel Newman
Press Releases – Other

ACT New Zealand Housing Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today asked how Housing Minister Steve Maharey could attack ACT for pointing out the flaws in Labour's housing policy when the fact remains that there has been an almost 100 percent growth in the number of families waiting in critical need of state housing over the past two years.

"This 97 percent growth highlights Labour's failure in housing. In reality, the Government doesn't need to own state houses to provide subsidised housing for families in need. Sinking billions of taxpayers' dollars into real estate is not sensible when private investors are willing to provide the capital," Dr Newman said.

"Further, the State is not a good landlord: firstly, many complaints to the Tenancy Tribunal, by tenants against landlords, are against HCNZ. Secondly, literally hundreds of private homeowners are harassed by HCNZ tenants - who are being allowed to get away with having little or no regard for their neighbours, and breaching their tenancy agreements and provisions of the Residential Tenancy Act.

"The reality is that, by providing subsidised housing without time limits - rather than addressing the reasons behind why these families are in need - Mr Maharey is creating dependency and locking people into rental accommodation.

"In light of the Minister's attack, I would like to know how he will help state housing tenants become self-sufficient. Such a plan should be released publicly, not kept it secret - I'm sure many HCNZ tenants would like to know whether they are likely to spend the rest of their lives in state housing.

"The fact the Minister ignores is that - under the present Government's income-based subsidised housing policy - the average stay in state houses is increasing. Mr Maharey has not told taxpayers that the demand for subsidised state housing will continue to grow as existing tenants are locked in and new tenants are attracted to subsidised rents.

"The Labour Government's housing policy is based on a flawed political ideology that ignores reality, and will create unlimited demand for housing that will needlessly cost the taxpayer billions of dollars," Dr Newman said.


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