26 Apr 2014

Govt pressuring Housing NZ - analyst

7:56 am on 26 April 2014

A social housing analyst says the Government is putting too much pressure on Housing New Zealand to pay dividends at the expense of tenants.

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Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Papers obtained by the Labour Party under the Official Information Act show Housing New Zealand has cut maintenance, and even considered using insurance payments from the Canterbury earthquakes to meet Government demands for more money.

The Government says insurance money is going towards new housing.

But Alan Johnson from the Salvation Army's social policy unit said state housing stock is suffering a legacy of neglect.

He said the Government is pulling more money out of the corporation and the previous Labour government forced Housing New Zealand to use its surpluses for new housing rather than maintaining existing stock.