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Labour will protect victims of domestic violence

Housing spokesperson
18 November 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT

Labour will protect victims of domestic violence

A Labour government would reverse the changes made by National which have made it harder for victims of domestic violence to access and maintain state housing tenancies, says Labour's housing spokesperson Moana Mackey.

"National's changes to the criteria for social allocation of housing were done very quietly but have had an enormous impact,” Moana Mackey said.

“The changes have made it much harder for applicants to qualify for a state house, even if they are homeless and living in emergency accommodation. Housing New Zealand now considers these people to be ‘housed’.

"And the changes have made it much harder for victims of family violence to access state housing. Escaping a violent situation is no longer as important a consideration as it used to be in the allocation of social housing.

"Where domestic violence victims do manage to access state housing, the inflexible, punitive, one size fits all approach of Housing New Zealand means that if anything goes wrong, tenants are not shown any understanding.

"When you are dealing with an issue as complex as family violence things aren't always going to run smoothly and in the process rules may inadvertently be breached.

“Is it fair for a woman to be evicted because her violent ex-partner turns up and starts threatening not only her but also her neighbours?

“Is it fair that the children in that situation end up homeless or forced to move back to a violent household because the National government does not allow Housing New Zealand to apply simple common sense when deciding the fate of these families?

"Housing New Zealand should be allowed once again to deal with each situation on a case by case basis. Under a Labour government that is exactly what will happen,” Moana Mackey said.


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