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Market Can’t Solve Christchurch Housing Crisis

Denis O’Rourke
Spokesperson for Housing and
Christchurch Earthquake Issues
20 March 2012
Market Can’t Solve Christchurch Housing Crisis

New Zealand First has accused the government of neglecting its duty to Christchurch people seeking accommodation in favour of profiteers from the private sector.

This follows a statement from Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee that the solution to the housing rental shortage “is best left to the market”.

Housing and Earthquake spokesperson Denis O’Rourke says it is simply not possible for “the market” to meet the demand for housing because of the large number of homes damaged by the earthquake.

“We are heading into winter and many tenants are living in damaged homes while tradespeople work around them.

“It is abhorrent that the Minister worries more about not influencing the housing market and curbing private profits than the plight of people who can’t find accommodation.

“Every day we hear more stories of families and elderly people who have to put up with sub-standard housing, excessive rents and insurance delays.

“Exacerbating the situation is the lack of a plan from the government to deal with this housing crisis, 13 months after the devastating February 22 earthquake.

“Many Cantabrians are now facing their second winter in unsafe houses or living in unsuitable accommodation, while the Minister maintains a housing shortage so the private sector can make bigger profits,” said Mr O’Rourke.

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