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Labour promises more state homes

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 9/07/2016

Labour will stop selling state houses and stop taking profits out of state-owned Housing NZ, leader Andrew Little says.

It will invest dividends currently being taken out of Housing NZ into building thousands of new state houses and make existing ones warmer, he says.

Housing NZ will no longer be required to behave as a corporation and will become a ministry again with more frontline staff.

The eligibility assessment and waitlist functions in the Ministry of Social Development will move to Housing NZ, as will policy functions.

"Under Labour, Housing NZ will only have one job: provide homes for people in need," Mr Little said.

Since 2008 National-led governments had stripped $520 million out of Housing NZ, he said.

"Imagine the good we can do if we reinvest that money into building more homes," Mr Little said.

Housing NZ was currently nothing more than a glorified property manager, he said.

Labour would restore its social mandate.

The announcement on Saturday at a centenary conference in Wellington is the second of three on housing policy by the opposition party.

On Thursday Mr Little announced an emergency housing policy he said would put a roof over the heads of 5100 homeless people a year.

He was to make a further housing policy announcement at 2pm on Sunday, telling TV3's The Nation programme the announcement would be comprehensive.

It would deal with several issues, including speculators.

Mr Little has previously said a capital gains tax and superannuation policies that proved unpopular with voters at the last election would not be part of the 2017 manifesto.

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