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Labour And The Greens Say State House Sale Scheme Won't Work

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Moana Mackey
Moana Mackey

Wellington, June 25 NZPA - Labour and the Greens say the Government's plan to allow state house tenants to buy their homes won't work and could cause problems.

Housing Minister Phil Heatley announced yesterday that from September tenants would have the option of buying their state houses at market rates.

He said it was "a win-win-win" situation for the tenants, people on the waiting list and the economy.

Money from sales would be used to build new state houses and the building industry would get a big boost.

Labour's housing spokeswoman Moana Mackey said the average state house was valued at about $350,000 and even if the Government extended the cap on Welcome Home Loans -- which it is considering -- a $22,500 deposit would be needed on top of a decent weekly income.

"The policy change creates the potential to erode the number of state houses the Government owns and this could have a longer term negative impact on its ability to provide social housing for families in need," Ms Mackey said.

The Green's housing spokeswoman, Sue Bradford, said houses which were sold could quickly end up back on the market, with investors and developers reaping profits.

"This proposal is the thin end of the privatisation wedge," Ms Bradford said.

"Phil Heatley's scheme is pointless as it won't speed up the number of homes being built."

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