Bill English.[/caption] Comments from the State Housing Action Network that the Government is abdicating its responsibility to social housing tenants are completely incorrect, Finance Minister Bill English says. “Our social housing reforms will provide more social housing for New Zealanders in need, and we will grow the community housing sector while maintaining Housing New Zealand as by far the largest provider of social housing,” Mr English says. Community housing providers already own or manage around 5,000 properties around New Zealand, and have a proven track record of delivering services for their tenants. Their core business is providing safe, affordable social housing for New Zealanders in need, which is why we want to work with them to provide more quality social housing. “Resolving some of New Zealand’s longstanding social challenges requires the Government to be open to working with community groups, non-government agencies and the private sector,” Mr English says. “We don’t have a monopoly on good ideas.” “The Government has set bottom-line commitments about the social housing changes which will help ensure there is greater support for tenants, including:
- Housing New Zealand and community housing providers will collectively provide more social housing places than there are now.
- Properties will be sold only if this results in better services for tenants and fair and reasonable value for taxpayers.
- Tenants in properties that are sold will continue to be housed for the duration of their need.
- The Government will spend more on income-related rent subsidies and ensure that Housing New Zealand has enough capital to build new social housing and to develop its existing properties.”