Slumming It With Labour: Abolishing Home-buy Would Be A Tragedy

  • Tony Ryall
Housing New Zealand Ltd

"Labour's step to abolish the Home-Buy scheme would be a tragedy for low-income families trying to get ahead" , Housing New Zealand Minister, Tony Ryall, said today.

"Labour's Housing policy, released yesterday, will reverse the Government's policy of selling some state houses to long-term tenants. Home-Buy is a key component of the Government's Housing plan, and accounts for between a quarter and a third of all sales.

"But, in response to questions raised by the Government, Labour's Housing spokesman, Graham Kelly, now says Labour has changed its policy. He told the NZ Herald that "Home-Buy would remain but only in areas with no state-housing shortage". The policy paper, released yesterday, says the sale of State houses would be stopped.

"Given that Auckland is the area of highest demand for State-owned housing, and that Labour's unfair policy will create waiting lists of 200,000 or more, Labour's latest policy will mean the 25,000 Housing New Zealand customers in Auckland will be left out. Chances are most other HNZ tenants will be left out as well.

"Latest HNZ figures show that as of 1 May this year 2,594 kiwi mums and dads have bought their HNZ home through the Home-Buy programme.

"These families want to get ahead. They want to break the often inter-generational cycle of dependence on the State. These 2,600 families now own a major asset that is likely to grow in value and will provide a solid base for their future security.

"Private home ownership has also been proven to strengthen and revitalise communities.

"The families who qualify for Home-Buy would have little or no chance of buying a home without this scheme.

"Certainly none of the mealy-mouthed promises of Labour to "work with" so and so and "investigate" this and that will help these families.

"2,600 low-income families know what works already. If it were not for Home-Buy these families would still be paying rent to Housing New Zealand", Mr Ryall concluded.