State house sell-off puts New Zealanders at the mercy of property speculators

The Government’s grand state house sell-off will pit the welfare of the most vulnerable Kiwis against the profit motives of big business, as good community organisations refuse to have a bar of the extreme housing reforms, the Green Party says.

The Salvation Army has announced they will not participate in the buy-up of state houses, despite being one of the organisations championed by the Government as a possible purchaser since they announced the scheme.

“The Sallies have clearly recognised this is a morally bankrupt and fiscally ill-advised deal,” said Green Party Housing spokesperson Kevin Hague.

“We’ve suspected for some time that the state-house sell-off is just an excuse for the Government to rid itself of responsibility and help out their mates in the private sector.

“Now, with the Sallies saying ‘no’ and other community housing providers likely to follow, the Government’s extreme privatisation agenda is out in the open.

“The only organisations that will have the money to buy state houses will indeed be private speculators, whose first priority will always be profit.

“John Key is putting down a ‘Welcome’ mat to predatory private investors, inviting them to take their pick of our valuable state-housing stock and make a quick buck.

“The Government has a moral responsibility to protect our most vulnerable people, and ensure they have a house to live in.

“By embarking on this poorly thought out ideological experiment, they are reneging on that responsibility.

“They are putting their extreme privatisation agenda before people.

“The Government’s plan to sell-off state houses means there’ll be fewer houses to go around for New Zealanders in need.

“The only people that will benefit from it are private property speculators, who will be laughing all the way to the bank,” said Mr Hague.