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National Will Push 100s Of Kiwi Kids Into Streets

8 September 2005

National will push thousands of Kiwi kids into the streets

The Greens are committed to retaining income-related rents for state houses, and substantially increasing the number of state houses the Government provides.

Green Housing Spokesperson Sue Bradford, who released the party's housing policy this afternoon, said income-related rents for state houses were an integral part of any decent society.

"National's plan to revert to market rents and restart the sell off of state houses will push tens of thousands of Kiwi kids into poverty and out on to the street," Ms Bradford said. "Dr Brash clearly hasn't learnt the painful lessons of the 1990s, and National is exhibiting yet again that it's simply not ready for government.

"All the tax cuts in the world won't protect another generation of children from a legacy of ill health, poor education and lowered life expectancy as a result of substandard and transient housing conditions."

The Green Party is committed to allowing third-sector housing to flourish.

"We'd also like to see more priority and resources given to helping community-based housing initiatives. There is a lot of potential in the third-sector to provide a diversity of both rental and ownership options, and the Government should be doing much more to enable that potential to be realised."

Ms Bradford said the Greens would be pushing Labour to build state houses at a faster rate than it has committed to.

"We believe housing is a basic human right. Even after two terms of a Labour Government and the welcome return of income-related rents for state houses, far too many people are still living in substandard or overcrowded conditions. Labour's plans for new state houses are focused on Auckland, but there is an acute affordable housing shortage right around the country.

"People who are well-housed have no idea of the circumstances in which some of our poorer families and individuals are compelled to survive. Improving the situation is imperative and is a key plank of our commitment to ending child poverty. It is also vital that we do everything we can to work towards environmentally friendly, energy-efficient housing."

Some of our key policies include:

- Creating a legal obligation on the Government to ensure housing needs are met.

- Providing adequate emergency and long-term housing, including for women suffering from violence, and for people with mental illness.

- Increasing Government resourcing and other support for community based and tangata whenua housing programmes.

- Getting half a million solar hot water panels into homes and buildings over the next five years.

- Ensuring new state housing is built according to sustainable building principles and design.

- Fostering innovative, environmentally friendly building skills and techniques in building and architecture.

The full policy is available at: http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/policy4753.html

A summary of the policy is available at: http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/other9187.html

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