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ACT wants state houses in ghettos

11 April 2005

ACT wants state houses where their supporters can't see them

Green MP Sue Bradford says Act's attack over a $1 million state house being rented for $75 shows they want to ghettoise low-income tenants, rather than compassionately address the housing shortage in Auckland.

New figures on the value and rentals of some state houses has led Act's Muriel Newman to claim such low rents in expensive areas discourage tenants from seeking higher paid work or buying their own homes. She claimed tenants, who are allocated houses that have often stood for decades, should accept they can't live in their "dream suburb".

"Muriel Newman's views would lead to state houses being excluded from 'expensive' suburbs, an elitism that would make Auckland a less diverse and vibrant city," said Ms Bradford, the Green Party's Housing Spokesperson

"She would obviously prefer state house tenants to live in out-of-sight ghettos. Low-income people should be able to benefit from all the good things Auckland has to offer without being forced to trek in from the further reaches of the region."

Ms Newman also claimed tenants are viewing state houses as being "for life".

Ms Bradford: "If a state house tenant is paying their rent and abiding by tenancy rules they have every right to stay where they are and certainly shouldn't be kicked out or have their rent hiked just because their home has appreciated in value around them.

"What a $1 million state house does tell us is that more can be done to meet housing needs in Auckland.

"The Greens would therefore support the Government acquiring more land for state housing; building or leasing more houses; supporting local government and third sector housing organisations; developing infill housing; and brokering deals for some state housing within private developments. There could also be more assistance towards home ownership," said Ms Bradford.

ENDS

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