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Budget 2004: Promoting stable tenancies

Hon Steve Maharey
Minister of Housing

Promoting stable tenancies

A $140 million package for housing initiatives will build greater stability in the rental sector, says Housing Minister Steve Maharey.

"More New Zealanders are renting as a long-term option and the government wants to provide tenants and landlords with greater security for these arrangements.

"Budget 2004 provides $128.9 million (including $126 million capital) for housing acquisition by Housing New Zealand Corporation (HNZC) over the next three years. This takes the total for next year to $232 million and will allow the Corporation to increase its housing stock by 1,054 homes and to make improvements to a further 856.

"Details will be announced next week.

"Funding of $6.2 million over four years will support better regulation and protection for tenants and landlords:

The Ministry of Housing gets $3.4 million (including $380,000 capital in 2004-05) to extend the Residential Tenancies Act to boarding houses once legislation now before Parliament is passed. This extra funding will also allow the Ministry to better inform landlords and tenants about trends in the rental market.

An on-line database of Tenancy Tribunal decisions will be established to allow easy access to information about past tenancy disputes at a cost of $1.3 million (including $310,000 capital in 2005-06).

$700,000 has been allocated for a review of the Residential Tenancies Act, which defines the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants and sets out disputes resolution processes. The Act is 18 years old and the government wants to ensure it reflects current circumstances.

HNZC receives an additional $800,000 for policy analysis.

"Further funding of $4.8 million is also provided in 2004-05 to continue to repair substandard housing in Northland, the East Coast and the Eastern Bay of Plenty," says Steve Maharey.

ENDS

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