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Alliance says spend stadium cash on decent homes

Alliance says spend stadium cash on decent homes for New Zealanders

The Alliance Party says the money for a rugby stadium in Auckland should go towards fixing up houses for working class and low income New Zealanders.

Alliance co-leader Len Richards says a recent report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment shows over one million New Zealanders are living in cold, damp homes, causing ill-health and poverty.

He says there will be better living conditions in the corporate boxes at luxury sports stadiums than there are in the houses New Zealand children are growing up in.

"The Government's priorities are completely wrong – our society should be sorting out the essentials like housing and health first, not sinking precious resources into ego-driven monuments to politicians."

The "Healthy, Wealthy and Wise" report says low-income families are the most likely to suffer from the cold as they live in poorly designed, badly insulated homes.

Mr Richards says it is absolutely mad that Government can find more than $500 million dollars for a place to kick around a ball while kids are growing up in cold, damp houses suffering from chronic health problems.

"Lets spend the money on proper heating, insulation and safety standards in the homes of working class New Zealanders."

He says recent figures from the CTU show the median house price is six times the median wage whereas three times would be seen as an affordable level.

He says people are being priced out of accommodation and housing has become a money making scheme.

"The Alliance says housing is first and foremost there to provide safe, healthy and affordable shelter and a secure home life for everyone."

The Alliance is holding its annual national conference in Wellington on 18-19 November 2006.

ENDS

Additional information: Alliance housing policy

The Alliance is calling for:

Housing assistance to be available to all who need it, not targeted only at those with extreme needs.

Modernisation of existing State housing stock and a radical increase in the number of State houses to be built.

A subsidised Government programme to insulate privately owned houses.

Low-interest, no-deposit loans for low-income workers and beneficiaries to enable them to buy homes.

Dampening down property investment by private landlords with capital gains taxes, and introduce rent controls and stronger tenancy protection to prevent exploitation of the poor.

Provision of low-interest loans to Councils and other agencies which provide pensioner flats or housing for low-income workers and
beneficiaries, providing that rents are set at less than 25% of household income.

No sale of Council-owned housing.

ENDS

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