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Labour fuels unrealistic housing expectations

Phil Heatley MP
National Party Housing Spokesman

19 October 2006

Labour fuels unrealistic housing expectations

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley says Chris Carter is now reaping what Labour has sown over the past seven years.

"It's not surprising that the occupants of a state house in Auckland are refusing to leave, given that for years Labour has been promoting unrealistic expectations among those who rely on the state for some assistance."

In recent months National has uncovered spiralling vandalism, exposed HNZ properties worth more than $2 million and released figures showing an alarming number of paying boarders are staying in taxpayer-subsidised homes.

"Because Labour and Chris Carter have been mismanaging the housing portfolio for the past seven years, it's little wonder that some tenants feel hard done by when the Government acts."

Mr Heatley says a National Government would have tried harder to help the family buy the house at the centre of the stand-off and then reinvested the sale price into more state housing for other needy families.

"They've spent 32 years paying rent. It's a crying shame that they haven't been paying off a mortgage over that time. Labour should be looking at a rent-to-buy programme."

Mr Heatley says he understands the family's attachment to the house but agrees that they do have to move.

"The Minister says this is not an isolated case. He needs to explain whether this is, in fact, the tip of a much larger iceberg. I have certainly had anecdotal reports to that effect.

"When there are some 11 and a half thousand needy people on the waiting list we can't let tenants start making up their own rules," says Mr Heatley.


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