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March on Parliament to protest against housing crisis

March on Parliament to protest against housing crisis

On Wednesday, 7 November, at 12 noon, protestors will be marching from the Civic Square in Wellington to Parliament to present a petition to housing spokespeople from the various political parties.

Over 100 protestors are expected, with groups coming from Napier (Tu Tangata Maraenui), Auckland (Glen Innes Action group) and Pomare to protest against drastic changes to the government's social housing policy which have resulted in the loss of state housing across the country.

"The changes make it much harder to qualifiy for a state house which has pushed many needy families off the waiting lists, and into unaffordable, overcrowded private rentals," Napier City Councillor Maxine Boag said.

"Across the country we have empty state houses waiting to be sold or demolished, while two or three families are living beside them in one overcrowded, unhealthy house because they cannot even get on the waiting list for their own state house.

The closure of Housing New Zealand offices have also put huge obstacles in the way of people with high and complex needs who do qualify for state houses. Many are made to prove that six private landlords have turned them down before Housing New Zealand will even consider putting them on a waiting list.

"This social housing policy has broken up communities, such as Pomare and Glen Innes, to sell off the land to private developers. They have no intention of building new state houses in these areas, as they have made most new applicants for state houses ineligible.

The petition the protestors are presenting lists the following demands:

· All Housing New Zealand “urban renewal” programmes in Glen Innes, Maraenui, Pomare and other areas be halted so communities can discuss and negotiate the “renewals” with Housing New Zealand.

· All 90-day eviction notices in Maraenui and other areas be withdrawn pending the outcome of community negotiations.

· The criteria for access to a HNZ home revert to the requirements prior to July 2011.

· Vacant state houses in all NZ communities be immediately let to families in crisis.

· The company to oversee housing redevelopment in Tamaki – the Tāmaki Redevelopment Company – be disestablished immediately.

· Reopen all Housing New Zealand offices around the country.

· A major state-house building and renovation programme be started – aim to build 20,000 new state houses within two years.

end

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