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Absentee housing strategy hurting our kids

Spokesperson for Housing

29 August 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Absentee housing strategy hurting our kids

National’s absentee housing strategy is hurting our kids, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Annette King.

“Housing Minister Phil Heatley claimed in Parliament today that his government agreed with most of the 12 housing recommendations within the recently released Children’s Commission report on child poverty.

“But his policy record is in stark contrast with the Commission’s recommendations,” Annette King said.

“Since taking office the Minister has cut funding for community housing, cut funding for state house maintenance, cut funding to Welcome Home Loans and cancelled the Gateway programme.

“It’s no wonder the Minister’s portfolio is in a downward spiral – but his poor policy making is dragging our children down too.

“The report points to a lack of housing supply, declining rates of home ownership, a lack of high quality, secure rental stock and on-going issues around the quantity, quality, type and location of state housing as having a negative and cumulative effect on our children’s wellbeing.

“The Minister was willing to admit that there are policy impediments hindering the expansion of community housing. But this is his domain. Hasn't anyone told him it’s his policy and he is the Minister?

“He agrees houses are overcrowded and there is homelessness, particularly in Auckland, but won't partner with Auckland Council to find solutions.

“The Commission’s recommendations spell out what needs to be done. In the absence of any ideas of his own, the Minister should engage with those doing the work,” Annette King said.


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