English’s state house flog off plans exposed

Labour is calling on Bill English to confirm or deny a claim the Government is exploring a mass sell-off of state housing to tenants.

Property magnate Bob Jones writes in a newspaper column published today that the Minister responsible for Housing NZ, Bill English, told him the government was exploring the idea.

“If the claim is correct, it is more evidence Mr English is simply making up this policy as he goes along,” Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“The Salvation Army and the Methodist Mission don’t want to buy state houses. The public hates Bill English’s plan to flog them off to property developers. So desperate is Bill English to offload state housing it seems he is now thinking about a mass sell-off to tenants. 

“Stripped of the soothing spin about charities taking over state housing, the policy is looking more and more like National’s last big sell-down of the 1990s when 13,000 houses were sold at knock down prices and snapped up by property developers and speculators.

“Many of those ended up back on the rental market with the help of a taxpayer subsidy.

“Helping struggling Kiwi families into home ownership is a worthy goal, but if Bob Jones’ claim is correct, this is just the latest attempt by National at sugar-coating their desire to off-load state housing at any cost,” Phil Twyford says.