INDEPENDENT NEWS

$8m to real estate agents from state house sales

Published: Mon 23 Aug 1999 05:02 PM
The Government has paid almost $8 million in commissions to real estate agents for state house sales, Labour housing spokesperson Graham Kelly revealed today.
The figure comes from the office of Tony Ryall, the Minister Responsible for Housing New Zealand, in reply to a Parliamentary Question from Mr Kelly.
Commissions totalled $7,894,869.36 in the year to 30 June 1999. They were paid to agents marketing and selling vacant state houses, many of which have been sold in bulk lots to developers.
"Many New Zealanders are living in garages or worse while this Government relentlessly flogs off state houses," Mr Kelly says. "The people benefiting from this privatisation are not those who need homes but property speculators and the agents who clip the ticket."
Other figures released to Mr Kelly indicate that more than 500 state houses are still on the market.
"The sales process isn't done yet, which means $8 million isn't all the agents will get. National is shovelling public wealth into private hands while the evidence of a national housing crisis piles up around it."
"Labour will stop this nonsense. We're committed to reversing National's policies of privatisation and market rents. We'll restore the social purpose of Housing New Zealand and income-related rents, so low income tenants pay no more than 25% of their household income in rent.

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