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1000 More State Homes delivered

14 July 2005

1000 More State Homes delivered

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The government has delivered on its goal of providing 1,000 more state homes in the past year, Housing Minister Steve Maharey announced today.

Latest figures show Housing New Zealand Corporation was managing 66,172 properties at the end of June, an increase of 1061 homes on a year ago.

Steve Maharey said 190,000 New Zealanders now call a state house home, with the number of state rental properties standing at over 66,000.

"The government will increase the numbers another 1000 this financial year, and by more than 3,000 by 2008," Steve Maharey said. "Overall numbers have increased by 5,745 since December 1999, along with major investments to provide more healthy homes and improve sub-standard housing in rural areas."

Over 600 of the extra properties provided in the past year were in Auckland where demand is highest.

"This government's investment in affordable housing for low income New Zealanders stands in stark contrast to National's policy of selling off state houses.

"Last week National's Housing spokesman David Carter told the Otago Daily Times that he 'strongly advocates a return to the policy of the 1990s when we actively encouraged state house tenants to buy their own state house.' "It is astonishing that Mr Carter wants to go back to a failed policy that saw thousands of low income families pushed below the poverty line.

"It just tells you the National Party have not learnt anything. If you sell the stock you can't house people.

"National sold 13,000 state houses during the 90s, leading to long waiting lists and families forced into difficult circumstances. From day one in government our mission was to restore the vital role played by state housing in our communities and we are continuing to build on our investment.

"Our $134 million social housing boost in this year's Budget is clear evidence of our continued support for state houses."

ENDS

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