State houses not for life

Kate Chapman at Stuff reports:

State housing should be a stepping stone and was no longer about a home for life, Prime Minister says.

His comments followed a protest in the Auckland suburb of Glenn Innes over the weekend.

The protesters were unhappy that state house tenants have been made to leave their homes as part of the Tamaki Transformation Programme, which will upgrade existing houses and build additional ones.

That is Glen Innes incidentally.

Few people want to move house against their will, but when you are a tenant, this happens from time to time.

Key said the Tamaki redevelopment had been planned for a long time and started under the previous Labour government.

“It’s all part of a programme to make sure that we can house what is a very large and growing list of people that need to get in , they’re in real need often living in very poor conditions in garages and areas of deprivation.”

Many people were in state houses that no longer met their needs, such as elderly single people in three or four bedroom homes, he told TV One’s Breakfast programme.

There will always be a limit to the number of state houses available at any time. Hence, one should try and help as many low income families as you can, by making sure that the family size and the house size are aligned.

National was changing the mentality that people were entitled to stay in a state house for life and had brought in fixed-term tenancies.

“In a way it’s a great stepping stone, or platform, if you like; help people in real need, allow them to move on.”

Those in the most need could continue to stay but it was about the relative need of others waiting for a state house, Key said.

Some tenants are no longer poor, and are paying market rents. It makes total sense for them to find a private sector landlord, and let a low income family get the benefit of a state house.

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