INDEPENDENT NEWS

National has no housing policy : Ryall Lazy

Published: Mon 20 Nov 2000 02:41 PM
20 November 2000 Media Statement
National has no housing policy : Ryall Lazy
"It is clear that the National Party has no housing policy," Housing Minister Mark Gosche said from Melbourne today.
He was commenting on recent criticisms made by National's Housing spokesman Tony Ryall. Despite his regular comments on housing policy, Mr Ryall recently revealed that his party had no housing policy and that they were in fact, 'back to the drawing board.'
"Mr Ryall has obviously been looking at the drawing board for 12 months and still come up with nothing, he is as lazy in opposition as he was in Government."
"Next month this Government will deliver a key promise when we restore income-related rents for state house tenants who have endured a 106% rent rise since 1992 thanks to the previous Government's market rents. Inflation over the same period rose 12%, while private rents rose 23%."
"So far statistics show that more than 58% of some of the neediest state tenants are going to be $20 - $60 better off each week. I know this is going to make a huge difference in the lives of some of our most vulnerable families."
From December 1, 2000 all state house rents will depend on a tenant's income. Low-income tenant's will pay no more than 25% of their income on rent. A new social policy allocation process will also be used from next month. The new policy delivers on a key election promise – two years ahead of time.
"Furthermore our Government is continuing to spend more than $700 million a year on accommodation assistance for low-income families renting from private landlords or purchasing homes."
"We have also introduced a new social allocation process to ensure the neediest families get help first."
"We are beginning to address the legacy of poverty left by the previous Government. "
ENDS
TONY RYALL ON INFOCUS, RNZ, OCTOBER 15
. I THINK THAT THE CRITICISM THAT WE HAD IN THE MID-NINETIES THAT HOUSING NEW ZEALAND WAS PROBABLY AT THE TOP END OF THE RENTS WAS VALID, AND THAT IS WHY TOWARDS THE END OF OUR TENURE IN GOVERNMENT, HOUSING NEW ZEALAND WAS GIVEN A VERY CLEAR INSTRUCTION TO CLEAR OUT THESE.. CLEAR UP THESE VACANCIES, AND THAT’S WHEN YOU SAW THE RENTALS COME BACK. I THINK IT WAS A GOOD SYSTEM, IT WAS GOOD FOR THE NINETIES. HOWEVER, WE’RE NOW MOVING INTO A NEW SITUATION, THE GOVERNMENT HAS A POLICY AND WE WILL HAVE TO REVIEW WHAT WE DO.
WELL, WE’RE NOT COMMITTED TO RESTORING WHAT HAPPENED IN THE 1990’S, WE’RE WORKING ON A POLICY FOR THE NEXT DECADE . . . WE’RE ALSO LOOKING AT HOW WE CAN BETTER USE HOUSING TO SUPPORT SOCIAL NEED AND FAMILY COHESION. I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE NEED TO DO IS MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE STABILITY FOR MANY OF OUR FAMILIES AT THE LOWER END OF THE INCOME LEVEL, AND MAYBE CHANGES IN THAT POLICY WILL HELP. SO WE’RE BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD AND WE’RE OUT CONSULTING AND TALKING TO A LOT OF PEOPLE
ENDS

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