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Govt robs $117m from state housing

Labour
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"Housing New Zealand's obscene $117 million profit shows National's determination to bleed the poor so it can cut taxes for the rich," says Labour housing spokesperson Graham Kelly.

"This is the third year in a row the Government has sucked over $100 million from state housing. Housing NZ made a profit of $122 million last year and $111 million the year before.

"Most of this year's profit comes from state house sales as National decimates the public housing built by generations of New Zealanders. They have now sold off about 11,000 houses for almost $1 billion. The spending on maintenance and new houses is pathetic beside these figures.

"The reality is that there were 70,298 state houses on 1 July 1992 and 60,399 on 31 August this year. For every house it has built, National has sold ten.

"While National flogs off houses and pockets the proceeds, state house tenants in South Auckland still live in overcrowded, damp, rat-infested homes and people in Northland and East Cape live in caravans, sheds, garages, derelict houses and cars.

"Tony Ryall's promises of new houses are as worthless as those of his predecessor Murray McCully. On 14 November 1997 McCully promised 2000 extra HNZ units in Auckland over 1997-98. He delivered 1075.

"Ryall's drivel about successful 'community partnerships' is beneath contempt. Some 554 of the 1200 houses he says are being 'managed by community groups' were bought at a giveaway price by a Wairarapa booze trust as a commercial investment.

"His claims about reduced waiting times for houses are equally misleading. We know from the managers of emergency housing that many low-income people aren't bothering to apply for state houses because they know they can't afford the market rents.

"Housing NZ should be trying to ease the overcrowding and health problems caused by New Zealand's low-income housing crisis. National is just milking it for cash."

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