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State house sale goes through

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/03/2017
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The sale of more than 1100 state houses in Tauranga has been completed and the buyer, Accessible Properties, has promised to build another 153 in the area.

The government announced in August it had chosen the charity, a registered community housing provider, as the preferred purchaser.

It is selling batches of state houses in several centres, amid strident protests from Labour and the Greens.

Community Housing Aotearoa, the national body that oversees social housing, confirmed on Thursday the agreement to purchase and manage 1138 houses in Tauranga had been completed.

"In years to come people will look back on this period as a turning point in how New Zealand views social housing and the needs of people living in these homes," said chief executive Scott Figenshow.

"Social housing is more than putting a roof over someone's head - it is about creating vibrant communities living in warm healthy homes."

He said because Accessible Properties was a tax-exempt charity, profits from housing investments would go back into housing improvements and the creation of more homes.

When the government announced the agreement the then Finance Minister, Bill English, said tenants would be better off because Housing NZ wasn't doing a good enough job supporting vulnerable people.

Existing tenancy conditions will remain the same after the houses change hands.

The amount paid for the properties hasn't been revealed.

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