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State house sell-off turns to dust

The Government’s state house sell-off has been dealt a devastating blow after one of New Zealand’s largest and most respected social service providers refused to take part because it won’t improve the lives of tenants, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.

“The Salvation Army has gone through the Government’s policy with a fine tooth comb and found it to be fundamentally flawed.

“They don’t want a bar of it because they don’t believe it will deliver a better service for New Zealand’s poorest and most vulnerable families.

“This underlines that for National this has all been about ideology. When Labour asked Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett for the evidence behind the policy, she replied that no such documentation exists.

“The Prime Minister earlier said he would be ‘amazed’ if the likes of the Salvation Army were hesitant to get involved if they saw a way to make money off the investment. This shows how badly John Key misjudged his state house sell-off and the Salvation Army.

“If the Salvation Army doesn’t have the resources or the capacity to take over Housing NZ’s responsibilities, who does?

“The Government’s housing policy is a fiasco. House prices are skyrocketing, first homebuyers are locked out of the market and not enough houses are being built.

“And to add to National’s list of housing failures, its big plan for state housing is now turning to dust,” Andrew Little says.