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Unfair Housing Policy Harming The Needy

Unfair Housing Policy Harming The Needy

Wednesday 26 May 2004

Dr Muriel Newman - Press Releases - Other

Housing Minister Steve Maharey's refusal to introduce State housing time limits is not just trapping tenants - it is hurting New Zealand's most needy families, and leaving thousands without a roof over their heads, ACT New Zealand Housing Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"Answers to my written Parliamentary Questions have revealed that, as of the end of April 2004, a total of 6,057 people `at risk' or in `serious need' were waiting to be placed in a home by Housing New Zealand," Dr Newman said.

"But some families live in State house for decades. Last year, I revealed that one family had rented a $697,000 house, for only $58 a week, for 32 years. This means State houses are no longer the temporary housing safety net Housing NZ was established to provide.

"ACT has long campaigned for Housing NZ tenants to be supported out of State housing as quickly as possible - ensuring that, once a family has found its feet, it can move onward and upward and make room for the next needy family.

"Clearly, this is not happening. Even worse, by far, the majority of this 6,057 on the waiting list are families and whanau in dire need of a home. If Labour does not introduce time limits for State houses, these numbers will continue to grow.

"The Government's housing policies are totally unfair. They are proving to be detrimental to New Zealand, and harming the country's most vulnerable people. Families in desperate circumstances should not be left in urgent need while others enjoy the security of cheap rent in a State house for life," Dr Newman said.

ENDS

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