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Auckland housing: pensioners sleep easy

Auckland housing: pensioners sleep easy

"Hundreds of New Lynn pensioners can sleep easy tonight knowing that their unit will still be there tomorrow for them when they wake up," said David Cunliffe, MP for New Lynn, in response to the Government's decision to buy Auckland City Council's housing stock.

"I have visited every pensioner complex in the New Lynn electorate over the past couple of months. This has been a major concern: Auckland City's rent increase and threat of sale have worried many senior citizens, at risk to their health.

"Moves announced today are a welcome change that will give certainty to the people who need it most," David Cunliffe said.

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Housing Minister Mark Gosche today announced that Housing New Zealand Corporation would purchase nearly 1700 housing units from Auckland City Council for $83m, subject to Council agreeing the sale.

In addition, HNZC will commit up to $75m over the next five years to upgrade or replace the existing units.

1542 pensioner rental units on 50 sites are involved, as well as 129 residential units.

Villages affected in New Lynn include Donovan, Ulster, Exminster, Whitminster, New Windsor and Chaucer.

"This offer provides much needed security of tenure for Auckland City tenants," Helen Clark and Mark Gosche said.

"I am particularly pleased that tenants will become eligible for income-related rents, once the sale goes through. This is a real demonstration of the Government's commitment to fairness and security - as well as dignity - for older New Zealanders," David Cunliffe said.

"I will be working with the Council and HNZC to make sure the transition is as smooth as it can be," said David Cunliffe. The transfer is due to take place on 1 March 2003.

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