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Maraenui homes vacant as need grows

Annette King
Spokesperson for Housing

5 September 2012

Maraenui homes vacant as need grows

Renovated and newly carpeted and heated homes are among dozens of Housing NZ properties due to be sold or demolished in Napier’s Maraenui, despite a growing need for state rentals, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Annette King says.

Speaking after a visit to the suburb yesterday Ms King said families were being forced to “double up” with relatives or other families because of inflexible policy and stringent new criteria.

“If Associate Housing Minister Tariana Turia is as concerned as she says she is about the number of empty state houses, she might want to have a word to her colleague, Housing Minister Phil Heatley, about Maraenui because he’s the architect of it.

“There are some very desperate people waiting for homes, yet we’ve got a situation now where even current tenants are being moved on because the Government is unwilling to look beyond today.

“It has no plans to replace these houses – and there are 60 vacant ones in Maraenui – so it’s my guess we’ll be seeing even more people living in cramped, overcrowded conditions, or in cars.

“I’m also betting those tenants waiting for homes will have to wait even longer to discuss their predicament with the newly troubled Mrs Turia.

“It would be interesting to know, too, how much taxpayer money is being wasted by repairs to houses that are to be demolished while people live in homes that are on the never-never for maintenance.

“So, Mr. Heatley, let’s have those figures, and let’s see a real state housing plan,” Annette King said.


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