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The Government’s senseless axing of the transfer of state houses to community housing providers is another example of its blinkered and backward approach, National Party Social Housing Spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says.

“The Government’s announcement today that it will cancel the ability for community housing providers to take on state houses, improve services to tenants and grow the amount of housing available, is a major step backwards.

“All it means is vulnerable New Zealanders miss out on the opportunity to have more people providing more houses and better services for tenants.

“Working with social housing providers also attracts further investment, above the Crown’s contribution. Labour’s ideological position will therefore reduce social housing supply and place yet more pressure on its over-burdened books.

“In Christchurch for example, the now-axed agreement to take over up to 2500 state houses included a requirement for the successful provider to add a further 150 properties – growing the total number of social houses with no further capital cost to the Crown.

“Tenants don’t care whether their landlord is the Government or a community housing provider. It’s just another example of Labour thinking only the Government can provide services to New Zealanders.

“Doing what we have done for decades doesn’t work – that’s why the previous Government was so focused on innovating and doing things better.

“Community housing providers know their local communities and neighbourhoods better and they can focus on individual tenants and their needs.

“This Government’s antagonistic approach to the private sector is taking New Zealand backwards. It needs to stop arrogantly believing the Government is the only one with the answers and work with New Zealanders who are improving the lives of our vulnerable.”

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