State rental housing milked for dividends while tenants die
State rental housing milked for dividends while tenants die in poor housing
State house tenants are dying from cold, damp Housing New Zealand homes while the government milks families for dividends.
The deaths of 37-year-old Soesa Tovo and two-year-old Emma-Lita Bourne in August last year due to appalling HNZ houses brings shame on all of us.
In recent years, while the state housing stock crumbles, successive National and Labour governments have demanded dividends from Housing New Zealand – dividends paid from the pockets of the most vulnerable tenants and families in New Zealand.
Dividends paid by HNZ to the government in recent years:
$71 million in 2010
$68 million in 2011
$77 million in 2012
$90 million in 2013
Labour also demanded dividends and collected a whopping $176 million in 2003.
National has plans to keep milking these tenants saying last year it was demanding $252 million in dividends over the following three years.
How many more children and vulnerable adults will die because the biggest slum landlord in the country – the National government – demands hundreds of millions in dividends from HNZ tenants while refusing to upgrade their homes to a decent standard?
The government must forget dividend demands and invest in state houses to bring them up to decent standards of quality and affordability. Nothing less is acceptable.