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Time to come clean on gutting state housing

25 May 2010

Time for Government to come clean on gutting state housing

It is time for John Key’s Government to admit they have gutted the budget to build and upgrade state houses, said the Green Party today.

The money for acquiring and upgrading state houses has been slashed from $120 million dollars to $18 million dollars in this year’s Budget.

“John Key has slashed the budget while there are still over 10,000 people on the state house waiting list and widespread housing deprivation,” said Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei.

Today, Mrs Turei grilled Minister Heatley in the House on his failure to provide for state housing in the Budget.

“The Minister tried to justify these cuts by saying that they spent more money on state housing last year because of the recession, so there is no longer any need to invest. But last year’s investment was roughly the same as it has been for the last five years,” said Mrs Turei.

The budget for state houses last year was $120 million, while the average budget for HNZC capital investment over the last five years has been around $140 million.

“The Minister says he still intends to build 1550 state houses but he is not providing any funding for this – what budgets does he expect HNZC to slash to find $600 million from for the new state houses?

“Expecting the funding for 1550 state houses to come out of existing baselines is ridiculous, especially given that he is planning to cut another $38 million from HNZC capital expenditure budget over the next two years.

“The ShapeNZ Poll released today shows that 47% of landlords are planning to increase rents, so now is the perfect time to invest in state housing to help balance the ledger for struggling New Zealanders,” said Mrs Turei.


For more information

For a summary of state housing cuts from $120 million to $18 million, please see page 50 in the document below. The forecast cuts to HNZC expenditure budget of $40 million in the next two years are on page 11 in Vote Housing 2010, Treasury http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2010/ise/v10/ise10-v10-pia-hous.pdf

For details of state housing budgets for the last five years, please see attached document –
http://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/State_housing_expenditure_2006-2010.xls

For details of HNZC waiting list of over 10,000 people, please see http://www.hnzc.co.nz/hnzc/web/rent-buy-or-own/rent-from-housing-new-zealand/waiting-list.htm

ENDS

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