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National caught out on state house porkies

Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“The annual report states 96 per cent of state houses are in the right places to meet demand, and 89 per cent have the right number of bedrooms.

“Bill English and Paula Bennett have been going around saying one-third of state houses are in the wrong place or are the wrong size. But Housing NZ’s own figures show this to be a nonsense. They’ve been making up the numbers to justify their plan to sell off thousands of state houses.

“The Government has also been claiming it has built 320 houses in the last year. What they didn’t tell the public was that they sold off 800 over the same period. No wonder the total number of state houses has fallen by 1600 over the last three years.

“While National gets ready to sell off thousands of state houses, key indicators in Housing NZ’s annual report show all is not well in the organisation.

“National is taking a massive $108 million dividend this year. That’s cash that could be used to build desperately needed houses, and the Government is putting it back into its own coffers. According to its Statement of Intent Housing NZ faces a $238 million deficit in its budget for building new homes.

“Is it any wonder the number of state houses is falling, there are 2594 vacant homes, and a record waiting list of 5599?

“Labour believes state housing is an investment in future generations and helps make sure all kids have the opportunity to grow up safe and healthy.  We need to be building more homes when there is a shortage, not selling off the homes we do have,” says Phil Twyford.