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Kelly Explains Housing Policy – Huh?

Media Statement
Tony Ryall
Minister Responsible for Housing New Zealand Limited

“Labour’s Housing spokesman, Graham Kelly, is apparently at odds with everyone in the Labour-Alliance caucus – including himself,” HNZ Minister, Tony Ryall, said today. “That’s quite an accomplishment even for him.”

“On 5 May Labour’s volatile Deputy Leader, Dr Michael Cullen, told The Press, ‘the purpose of income-related state-house rentals was to get as many people on low incomes into state housing as possible, placing downward pressure on rentals’.

“One day later Graham Kelly told the New Zealand Herald, ‘lower state rents would push the private market down’.

“Then on 25 May Tim Barnett, Labour’s Christchurch Central MP, told The Press, ‘Labour’s policy was a deliberate attempt to reduce rental costs in the private sector…by reducing state house rentals for people on low incomes, Labour will put pressure on private landlords to reduce rentals’.

“Alliance’s Grant Gillon said in the media statement on 4 October, ‘reducing state house rentals has the effect of driving down market rents in the private sector, particularly at the lower end, so everyone benefits through flow-on effects’.

“Finally, in the October 99 edition of Property Investor Graham Kelly told landlords, ‘Scaremongers on the political right are trying to persuade landlords that Labour’s plan for income-related state house rentals puts their investments at risk. They predict falling rents and property values’.

“Huh? Mr Kelly continues, ‘In reality, very few landlords will notice any difference at all, as most do not compete with Housing New Zealand for low income tenants. Some with properties at the cheaper end of the market may actually find demand increasing’.

“Thanks for clearing that up Graham,” said Mr Ryall.

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