Government breaks rent subsidies promise

National has broken a promise to subsidise the rent of 3000 low-income New Zealanders to make up for its state house sell-off, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“When John Key announced last year the Government would sell-off 8000 state houses, he said the Income-Related Rent Subsidy would be increased by 3000. The Prime Minister used his State of the Nation speech in 2015 to commit to growing this support to 65,000 places by 2017/18.

“However, National will fall 1300 places short of its own target. Even two years on from that goal, in 2019/20, they are forecast to be more than 800 short of the 3000 places promised.

“What’s worse is that funding allocated to provide a further 300 subsidies in Auckland – where the need for housing is the greatest – in the past financial year, was never spent.

“The dreadful rise in the number of families living in cars and garages is a direct result of a lack of state houses.

“National is more interested in selling off state houses to overseas companies, private investors and merchant bankers than focusing on what it should be doing – building more homes to house our most vulnerable.

“Selling off state houses in the middle of a housing crisis is ideologically-driven insanity by National. They continue to put profits ahead of people,” Phil Twyford says.