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Home Ownership Assistance Needed

21 October 2004

Home Ownership Assistance Needed

A new approach was needed to help finance low-income families into secure, affordable housing, Council of Trade Unions economist Peter Conway said today.

The CTU was welcoming signals from the Government reported today that more may be done to assist New Zealanders into home ownership.

A recent survey showed home ownership rates were down from 72 per cent in 1981 to 68 per cent in 2001. The rate of home ownership for Maori has fallen in that period from 48 per cent to 44 per cent and for Pacific peoples from 39 per cent to 35 per cent.

“Owning your own home has become a distant dream for many New Zealanders and prospective first home buyers are demoralised by rising prices and mortgage interest payments,” Peter Conway said.

In the last year, house prices have increased by around 22 per cent but wages have only increased on average by just over two per cent.

“The high cost of housing is a major cause of poverty and poor health,” he said. “It also means many low-income families are moving house frequently, which affects the educational success of children.”

ENDS

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