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The Government’s property developer mates are the only people who can salvage National’s state house sell-off now the Salvation Army has torpedoed the policy, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“Having been cynically used by the Government as the poster child for its ill-conceived policy, the Salvation Army says it can’t buy any of the 8000 homes to be put up for sale.

“Other community housing organisations say if it doesn’t stack up for the Sallies they doubt others can make it work

“So who is left? Property developers and financiers.

“The Government can no longer hide behind the good name of the Salvation Army. Its policy is revealed for what it is: A $2 billion dollar state house flog off to whoever will buy them and an ongoing subsidy for landlords. 

“The policy was half-baked from the beginning. The Government didn’t know who would buy the houses, how they’d be financed, or how much they’d cost. It still can’t answer those questions.

“Most damning is that the Salvation Army – our most respected social agency – has taken a detailed look at the policy and doesn’t believe the lives of tenants would be improved by the state house sales.

“The victims of this ineptitude are tens of thousands of our poorest and most vulnerable families who have had to put up with uncertainty and stress. National is playing politics with people’s lives,” Phil Twyford says.