Why our state housing stock is being sold off while thousands of Kiwis are homeless

Rangitikei Enviromental Health Watch

The Prime Minister John Key announced earlier this year that he intended to sell off  1000 to 2000 of NZ’s state houses. Large numbers of these homes were built by the first Labour government in 1935 and as of 2013 the stock numbered 69,000. That era had marked the birth of our welfare state and the tenants of the first house that was finished and let in 1937, paid just one third of their income in rent. Fifty years later we had the Labour government promising to remain involved in NZ’s housing market, then with the event of  Rogernomics and Roger Douglas’s neo liberal economic policies (the new economic ‘experiment’ that benefited those at the top of the capitalist pyramid and launched the ever increasing gap between rich and poor) rents were raised to market rates. Tenants could then apply for a government subsidy called an accommodation benefit,  effectively subsidizing…

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