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Housing For Refugees While Kiwis Live In Camps

13 March 2008

State Housing For Refugees While Kiwis Live In Camping Grounds

The actions of Housing New Zealand in denying a Christchurch family housing assistance and advising they move into a camping ground, while keeping state housing vacant for future refugees, are absolutely disgraceful, says Christchurch-based MP Ron Mark.

“My office in Christchurch was contacted by a single-income couple with three children aged under 6 who, after struggling to find accommodation after their previous rental was sold, resorted in desperation to contacting Housing New Zealand for assistance.

“The Papanui office of Housing New Zealand advised the family that despite meeting all criteria for assistance, there were no properties available in Canterbury and that the family should consider moving into a camping ground. This is not the first time we have heard of Housing New Zealand suggesting this either.

“Even more outrageous is that despite the family being advised by Housing New Zealand that no state housing was available, information has come to light that the Corporation has several vacant properties set aside for future refugees.

“This situation is nothing short of scandalous, and is utterly unacceptable. For Housing New Zealand to keep housing vacant for refugees who are not even here yet, while suggesting that a camping ground would be a suitable alternative for a young Kiwi family, beggars belief.

“It is time for Housing New Zealand to put New Zealanders first. End of story,” said Mr Mark.


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