INDEPENDENT NEWS

State house sales near $1 billion

Published: Mon 18 Oct 1999 04:25 PM
The Government has now sold off almost $1 billion of state houses, Labour housing spokesperson Graham Kelly revealed today.
The information comes from Parliamentary questions asked by Mr Kelly. It shows that from the financial year 1992-93 until August 30 this year the Government sold 10,549 Housing New Zealand houses, for a total of $969,854,445.
"Tony Ryall's posturing with a few new political show-homes should fool nobody," Mr Kelly says. "National's aim is to get rid of as much public housing as it can, as fast as it can. This Government has no interest in helping low-income people into safe, quality homes. Its aim is merely to flog off public housing built by generations of New Zealand taxpayers so it can cut taxes for its wealthy mates.
"We know National isn't re-investing the profits of state house sales in the remaining Housing New Zealand stock. Last year it pocketed a $122 million profit from the corporation. While the Government rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars, state house tenants in South Auckland still live in overcrowded, damp, rat-infested homes.
"People in Northland and East Cape are living in caravans, sheds, garages, derelict houses and even cars, as a select committee reported last week. They are often living without adequate running water, electricity, kitchens or sewerage.
"Children are getting Third World diseases in New Zealand from living in overcrowded, unsanitary, damp, cold houses. National's response is to sell the public housing that could help give them a better start in life.
"Labour will retain and rebuild public housing and we'll make it more affordable by restoring income-related rents for low-income households. We'll also establish housing action zones in areas of special need. Unlike National, we're not blind to poverty."

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