224 Low Income Families Become Home Owners

  • Tony Ryall
Housing New Zealand Ltd

Housing New Zealand Minister Tony Ryall released information today showing 224 or around a quarter of the HNZ house sales over the four months to the end of August, were to tenants under the Home Buy scheme.

"I'm delighted that HNZ tenants are continuing to take advantage of this great scheme and become home owners. The Labour-Alliance Opposition has promised to scrap Home Buy.

"Of the 967 sales that occurred during these four months 170 were properties in Madeleine Avenue and Esperance Road in Auckland.

"Excluding the properties in Madeleine Avenue and Esperance Road a hundred of the sales were in Auckland and forty of these were to HNZ tenants. The vacant properties being sold in Auckland are either poor quality or properties on very valuable land. Selling such properties means we can build more homes which are of a much higher quality. The sixty vacant properties sold in Auckland compares to 139 during the same time period in 1998. Over the four months to the end of August 1999 160 new properties were acquired in Auckland.

"The Government has a target to acquire a thousand new homes in Auckland. HNZ now has 485 new homes approved for either purchase or lease. Tenants have already begun moving into some of these new homes. In addition proposals for a further 1,000 new homes are being considered.

"Over the twelve months ending 31 August HNZ has decreased its total stock by 3,298 (from 63,146 to 59,848). Most of this reduction has occurred in areas where there is low demand and excess supply of housing such as Mana, Naenae and Wanganui. Over the same twelve month period HNZ acquired 634 new homes nationally - of these 504 were in Auckland.

"At the end of August, of the 59,848 properties, 1,431 were vacant and of these 687 were for sale. Most of the sales were taking place in areas where there is an over supply of homes and low demand - areas such as Gisborne, Hastings, Mana, Manawatu, New Plymouth, Riccarton, Timaru, Wanganui and Whangarei/Far North. HNZ is well able to meet demand in these areas - in most of them there are either no top priority applicants or only one or two - all of which can be housed within a very short time period.

"HNZ will continue to sell some state houses to enable low income families to own their own homes, provide more houses where people want to live, get rid of out-dated buildings and allow community organisations to provide local solutions to local needs," Mr Ryall said.