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Damage doubles in HNZ homes

Phil Heatley MP
National Party Housing Spokesman

11 May 2006

Damage doubles in HNZ homes

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley says the damage being done to state homes by tenants and their guests has ballooned.

HNZ figures show the amount of tenant and third party (guest) damage has risen by 75% to more than $14 million in the past year, with three quarters of the year gone.

“The damage being done to taxpayer-owned and funded properties by tenants and their guests is on track to double this year.

“It is the taxpayer who will pick up the tab for this, yet the Minister says he is satisfied with the way the housing stock’s being managed.

“In Parliament today the Minister claimed I was being misleading with the figures. He is wrong, they are his damage figures and he is the one misleading New Zealanders.

“The number of HNZ properties have increased by 2% in the past year, yet the amount of damage being done by tenants and their guests has doubled.”

Mr Heatley is calling on the Minister to clarify the situation, especially in light of Maryan Street’s Residential Tenancies (Damage Insurance) Amendment Bill, which will force private landlords to pay for insurance to cover the damages done by tenants or their guests.

“Can the Minister tell us if the increased premiums being driven by this Labour member’s bill will apply to government-owned homes? I suspect the answer is no - because HNZ does not insure for damage to its properties.

“If that is correct, why is the Government forcing new costs upon the private sector when it won’t face the same increased costs itself. They’ll just plunder the taxpayer purse instead.

“Taxpaying tenants renting in the private sector will be paying twice. Not only will they be paying higher rents once the costs are passed on, they’ll also be paying for the damage and vandalism done by state house tenants to their homes,” says Mr Heatley.


ENDS

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