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State houses cannot be inherited as of right

18 October 2006

State houses cannot be inherited as of right

The illegal occupation of state houses will not be tolerated, Housing Minister Chris Carter said today following attempts by the family of a deceased tenant to take over a state house in Auckland.

"I want to state two very clear principles. One, anyone illegally occupying a state house will be removed. Two, the children of tenants do not have an automatic right to inherit state houses," Mr Carter said.

"State houses are owned by the taxpayer. The adult family of deceased tenants have no more rights to those houses than any other taxpayer. State houses are allocated according to need, and there is a long queue of very needy people waiting for them.

"Neither Housing New Zealand, or the Government, will tolerate anyone interfering in the proper allocation of houses. This process must remain fair for all involved," Mr Carter said.

His comments follow the illegal occupation of a state house in Auckland by the family of the former tenant, who died recently. The family argues they have a claim over the house because the previous tenant lived there for a long time.

"This case is not an isolated one," Mr Carter said.

"Similar issues appear to be arising regularly around the country, and I want to make Housing New Zealand's position explicitly clear.

"Those occupying state houses illegally will be removed. If they have a genuine housing need they will be assessed like everyone else, and they will be allocated a house using the same processes applied to everyone else. There will be no exceptions."

ENDS

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