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State houses empty during shortage: Labour

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/02/2017

More than 250 state houses have been sitting empty for over a year as the government tries to sell them, Labour says.

Party leader Andrew Little has official documents showing there are nearly 2500 empty state houses and more than 500 have been empty for over a year.

Of those long-term vacant houses, 254 are empty pending sale.

Others need repairs or upgrades.

"In the middle of a housing shortage, why on earth is (prime minister) Bill English leaving state houses empty... we should be building houses, not leaving the ones we do have vacant," Mr Little said on Tuesday.

"There are nearly 5000 families waiting for state houses, up by more than a third in the past year."

Mr Little says the government's usual excuse is that they are the wrong houses in the wrong places.

"Well, any house would be welcome for kids living in tents... the very least Bill English could do is get those houses filled straight away," he said.

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