3 September 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT
Labour will make renting a better option
Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s
housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.
“Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home. But too often
families who cannot afford to own their home, have to put up with damp, cold houses and having to move all the time.
“One-third of Kiwis rent so it is time we made renting a better option. Labour will make sure every rental property is
warm and dry through our Healthy Homes Guarantee. We will also give tenants more security of tenure so families can live
more settled lives.
“Labour will work with landlord and tenant representative groups to investigate options for increasing security of
tenure in the private sector and ensure a better balance of rights between tenants and landlords.
“Labour will also build a bigger, stronger state and social housing sector. Only 4% of Kiwi households rent a state,
council or community owned house. Many more struggling families live in private rental housing that is cold, damp and
expensive to rent.
“National has reduced the number of state houses by 1000 in the past 12 months and used Housing NZ as a cash cow in the
middle of a housing crisis, making a net withdrawal of $212 in the last 5 years, and budgeting to take out another $252
m in the next three years. They have also allowed 2700 state houses to lie vacant and boarded up while waiting lists hit
a record high.
“Labour will do the obvious thing in a housing shortage, and that is build more state houses.
“The Labour-led Government will put the social back into social housing. National has cut back Housing NZ and reduced it
to being a property manager with tenants forced to go through an 0800 number. Labour will bring back tenancy managers
who can work directly with tenants and get the best housing outcomes. We will scrap National’s plan to kick out
pensioners, the disabled and families with young children by imposing reviewable tenancies.
“We are also committed to expanding the community housing sector which does innovative and effective work. We will sit
down with the sector and negotiate a five year plan to build the sector, supported by capital grants, stock transfer,
and the income related rent subsidy.
“Renters and social housing tenants need security in their homes. Labour will ensure that happens,” says Phil Twyford.