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95,000 Support Rent And Housing Relief In Petition Delivery

WHAT: An online delivery event for two petitions with a combined 95,000 signatures. The petitions call for a number of changes including for the New Zealand Government to suspend rent and mortgage payments, and to buy unoccupied homes for the homeless.

WHEN: 7:30 - 8 pm, Thursday 2 April 2020


Zoom https://zoom.us/j/414426832

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/322885315356685/

Almost 100,000 New Zealanders are now calling on the government for an immediate suspension of rent and mortgage payments in response to Covid-19.

The petitions, initiated by campaign groups ActionStation and Avaaz, will be presented to Greens co-leader at an online petition delivery event on Thursday 2 April at 7.30pm.

“Hundreds of thousands of people across New Zealand are facing the stress of not being able to afford to pay their rent,” says ActionStation Organiser Kassie Hartendorp. “With over 40,000 homeless people, we are also concerned about those who do not have access to a safe, secure and genuinely affordable roof over their head during a time of self-isolation.”

Senior Campaigner at Avaaz, Antonia Staats, says “From Italy and France to New York - emergency measures to suspend rent and mortgage payments are being pushed to help citizens weather the corona lockdown."

The Avaaz petition has 84,000 signatures.

The ActionStation petition, which has been signed by over 10,700 people calls for the government to buy unoccupied homes to house homeless people and to remove all obligations for people to pay for emergency housing.

Census figures from 2018 showed there were 141,366 empty houses in New Zealand.

Robert Whitaker of Renters United supports the petitions and will also be present at the delivery event.

“Some of the largest property management companies have acted against the interests of renters, offering only token reductions or planning to load debt onto renters with ‘pay later’ arrangements,” says Robert Whitaker of Renters United. “Too many are placing their own financial interests over the needs of their tenants.”

"At this time of economic uncertainty we are asking the Government to take decisive action to ensure stable and safe housing for everyone throughout Aotearoa," says Hartendorp.

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