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Grants scheme `an utter failure': Labour

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/07/2016

But Labour leader Andrew Little says helping just a dozen families means it's "an utter failure". © Getty Images But Labour leader Andrew Little says helping just a dozen families means it's "an utter failure". The government thinks its scheme that pays people to move out of Auckland is off to a good start, but Labour's describing it as a failure.

The scheme, which began a month ago, helps people who need social housing but can't get it in Auckland.

They're offered accommodation in other cities, and can apply for grants of up to $5000 to help them move.

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett said on Wednesday that so far $54,508 had been paid out in grants to 12 applicants covering 32 people.

Assistance has been approved for a further 10 applicants, covering 20 people, pending confirmation of moving dates and cost verification.

Ms Bennett said the scheme was off to a good start, and she was pleased people were taking up the offer.

But Labour leader Andrew Little says helping just a dozen families means it's "an utter failure".

"Paula Bennett didn't gauge the level of interest in this and failed to recognise how hard it is for a family to leave a city where their relatives, friends, jobs, schools and communities are," he said.

"This is another of National's half-baked half measures to solve the housing crisis."

When the scheme was announced, Ms Bennett said $150,000 had been allocated to help 150 applicants.

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