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Ownership is key to halt rise of vandalism

Wednesday, 2 August 2006

Ownership is key to halt rise of State house vandalism

Encouraging State house tenants to become homeowners is the only way to effectively reduce the escalating State house repair bill, according to United Future's housing spokesperson Judy Turner.

"It should be self-evident that tenants are far more likely to look after their own property than houses owned by the State.

"Self-ownership of property not only makes the tenants responsible for their own actions and subsequent repairs, but increases the pride in properties of families which positively affects the level of care.

"Families who own their own home are also more active within the neighbourhood, and more involved in their local communities in general."

According to Mrs Turner, the fact that home ownership rates are rapidly decreasing in the private sector makes it especially important that State housed tenants are encouraged into home ownership, especially those paying market rents on their HNZ properties.

"I proposed a 'rent-to-buy' scheme in Parliament yesterday, which would see a share of capital gains accrued over a rental period, put into a deposit for the tenants.

"Bridging the deposit gap is central to helping State house tenants into ownership, and I am glad to see that the government is considering such as scheme.

"The bill from State house vandalism varies from year to year, and this latest increase is a concerning trend for tax-payers.

"However the only way to significantly reduce the repair bill is to encourage tenants to own their own homes.

"People are going to take much better care of their properties if they own the windows that are currently being broken, it's a win-win situation for both individuals and the tax-payer," says Mrs Turner.

ENDS

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