National must guarantee state homes can’t be flicked off for a profit

John Key must guarantee any state houses sold to local or overseas buyers for social housing are offered back to the Government first in the event they’re sold in the future, the Green Party said today.

The National Government plans to sell thousands of state houses to social housing providers by 2017, and Horizon Housing, a not-for-profit charity based on Australia's Gold Coast, has expressed interest in buying more than 400 of them.

John Key must guarantee any state houses sold to local or overseas buyers for social housing are offered back to the Government first in the event they’re sold in the future, the Green Party said today.

The National Government plans to sell thousands of state houses to social housing providers by 2017, and Horizon Housing, a not-for-profit charity based on Australia's Gold Coast, has expressed interest in buying more than 400 of them.

“John Key must promise New Zealanders that he’ll make it impossible for our state houses to be used as a way for overseas or local companies to maximise their profits,” Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said.

“The Government should be building more state homes, not flicking off the existing ones to overseas organisations that might be looking to make a quick buck.

“Should the National Government be reckless enough to sell state houses to offshore companies they must at the very least include a clause ensuring the Government has the first chance of refusal in the event the properties are sold in the future.

“The Government must also require any organisation looking to buy homes for social housing are in it for the long haul.

“John Key once stated he didn’t wan’t New Zealanders to become tenants in their own land. 

“He obviously doesn’t feel this way anymore as he is about to create the conditions where our most vulnerable and needy will become the tenants of offshore companies.

“Housing vulnerable New Zealanders is a vital role for the state. 

 “The best way to provide more social housing for vulnerable families is for the state to use the assets it already owns, and its low cost of borrowing to build more homes.

“So far, none of the Government’s social housing announcements have resulted in a plan to build a single new home.

“Rather than selling off our state houses the Green Party considers we need to increase the acquisition and building of state housing units by at least 3000 units a year,” said Mrs Turei.

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