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Government to 'put the state back into state housing', review tenancy act, Twyford says

Friday 1st December 2017

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The government is planning "the biggest overhaul of housing policy since the time of the first Labour government"  by building 100,000 new houses, re-inventing state housing and reviewing the Residential Tenancies Act to give tenants more security, says Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford.

According to notes from a speech in Auckland this morning, Twyford said the government would "put the state back into state housing". It will reinvest Housing New Zealand surpluses into building new homes and upgrading existing ones, stop "the mass sell-off of state housing", and work to build relationships with state housing tenants including allowing them to own pets. The government will also work closely with community housing providers to grow the sector, he said.

Twyford reiterated the government's commitment to build 100,000 affordable homes for first home buyers, with half of those in Auckland. The government will set up a national urban development authority called the Housing Commission which will plan construction of communities with a mix of state housing, Kiwibuild homes and open market homes, he said.

A review of the Residential Tenancies Act will begin next year, "to deliver more security of tenure for renters. Because well over a third of us renting these days we cannot continue with the current outdated law," the minister said.

Twyford said he has been inspired by the first Labour government, which launched the state housing programme and introduced regulation on housing standards and rent increases. The government has recognised the country has a crisis, and will be "bold and broad" in response, he said. 

(BusinessDesk)

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