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NZCEH supports call to prevent emptying state houses

Media release
For immediate release

NZCEH supports call to prevent emptying state houses

The New Zealand Coalition to End Homelessness (NZCEH) supports the call of Tu Tangata Maraenui in demanding that the government stop the demolition, sale and emptying out of the state houses in Maraenui.

Housing NZ amended its Social Allocation System eligibility criteria on 1 July 2011 so that state rentals properties are allocated only to those in the highest need. Reports have been received that people in Napier and Hastings are living in their cars, living in crowded conditions with family members and living in garages.

In June the Maori Party Co-Leader Pita Sharples called for homeless people in Christchurch to squat in abandoned red zone houses to combat the lack of adequate housing.

‘That’s what these people should do in Maraenui and Mangere who are living in sub-standard conditions while they wait for Housing NZ to do something about their situation,’ says Iris Pahau, Co-Chair of the Coalition. ‘These homes aren’t ‘red zoned’ they are perfectly safe to live in – Housing NZ just choose not to put people in them.’

‘This government talks about their financial deficit but they leave 60 houses in Maraenui, 51 houses in Mangere and unknown number throughout the rest of the country that could all be earning income,’ says Corie Haddock. ‘These houses are the assets of the tax payers and but they are being left to turn into rubble because of poor policy decisions of an inefficient government department.’

Housing NZ is inviting people in desperate need to phone their 0800 Call Centre which has been a hot topic during ‘Question Time’ in Parliament in recent months. In May it was reported that ‘Housing New Zealand has only managed to answer just over half the calls to its new call centre and there are reports some people have waited almost 40 minutes to speak to a staff member.’


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