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Phil Heatley’s hidden housing statistics


21 December 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Phil Heatley’s hidden housing statistics

Just a few days from Christmas, Housing Minister Phil Heatley appears to be withholding the latest statistics that show the number of families still waiting for state houses, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Annette King.

Housing New Zealand’s waiting lists, ordinarily broken down regionally, by month, and loaded online, have not been updated since October.

“That is an extraordinary time-lapse even for Phil Heatley.

“The Minister might have clocked off in an attempt to avoid any end of year controversy, but the reality is hundreds of families will be living in cars, caravans or packed in with relatives and friends all while state houses sit empty over the summer break.

“National’s attempted overhaul of state housing has failed miserably. If state houses aren’t sitting empty they’ve been demolished, moved, deemed earthquake prone, or sold off – all without a contingency plan for those in need right now.

“The Minister talked a big game about his restructure of Housing New Zealand, but with a growing number of families on the high priority waiting list this year, and the possibility of more at Christmas – it’s obvious who’s drawn the short straw.

“Ensuring we get our state housing stock up to scratch is essential, but leaving families in the lurch isn’t the state landlord’s role.

“Phil Heatley has gained notoriety for asserting that state houses are ‘in the wrong place, the wrong size or in poor condition’. I have been asking for evidence of that all year, but the Minister is yet to provide the data that shows where these houses are.

“Phil Heatley has gone into this process full of blatherskite – but without a strategic plan.

“The Minister might have good intentions, but his execution of the restructure and his mismanagement of basic information smacks of incompetence,” Annette King said.
ends

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