State house sell-off a kick in the guts for Tauranga’s homeless

The Government’s sale of 1124 state houses in Tauranga won’t house a single extra homeless person in the city, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“Tauranga, like the rest of New Zealand, has a crisis of housing affordability and homelessness. It has pensioners living in campgrounds, and families sleeping in cars. Selling off the city’s state houses will do nothing to house these people.

“It is just National pursuing its ideological agenda to take the state out of state housing.

“When there is a desperate housing shortage, the obvious solution is to build more houses. But National just doesn’t get it.

“How does changing the ownership of these houses help desperate Tauranga families who cannot find an affordable rental? How does it help the people living in garages and campgrounds?

“It is untenable and immoral for National to persist with their state house sell off when the country is in the grip of a housing crisis.

“It should pull the plug on the sell off now, and commit to a massive house building programme.

“At the very least it must promise to put all the proceeds of the sell-off back into Housing NZ to fund the building of more state houses.

“Labour’s policy is to stop the sell-off, run Housing NZ as a public service dedicated to one job –putting a decent roof over the heads of Kiwi families in need. Instead of selling off state houses and running down Housing NZ, Labour will launch a major building programme and increase the total number of state houses by at least 1000 a year,” Phil Twyford says.