Govt’s state house sell-off ramping up

Government plans to ramp up the state house sell-off by selling another 1000 houses in 2016/17 will mean more families in need missing out, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.

“New figures show the Government plans to sell 1000 more HNZ state houses (see below), following last year’s sell off of 448. 

“It is inexcusable for the Government to be selling off state houses in the middle of a housing crisis.

 “Families are being forced to live in cars and the average homeless person is waiting longer than five months to get into a state house. There are now 4,585 families on the waiting list, half of them in desperate need.

“Today in Naenae I saw houses left empty and land sitting vacant where houses could be built. There are 102 families in the Hutt waiting for a state house while 204 homes sit vacant.

“These houses should be repaired and let, or demolished and rebuilt so that families in need can have a secure roof over their heads.

“For years now this government has used Housing NZ as a cash cow instead of housing people in need. In the last eight years National has taken more than half a billion dollars in dividends from Housing NZ and reduced the number of state houses by 2,500.

“This situation is now urgent and the government must act. A half-hearted, half-promise to stop dividends for two years won’t cut it.

“The government needs to turn Housing NZ into a public service so it can focus on getting struggling families into houses, not making a profit out of them,” Andrew Little says.