2 Nov 2014

Hundreds of state houses to be built

2:29 pm on 2 November 2014

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett says the Government has built several hundred new state houses this year, and hundreds more will be built next year.

Construction

The Social Housing Minister says Housing New Zealand is on track to build about 700 houses in 2015. Photo: Photo NZ

The Government expects social housing providers will in future provide more housing for the needy, but there is a shortage of housing with 4000 people on Housing New Zealand's waiting list.

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Ms Bennett said yesterday that Housing New Zealand would remain the dominant provider of social housing, and today she told TVNZ's Q+A programme the state provider was still building many new homes.

 Paula Bennett

Paula Bennett Photo: SUPPLIED

"Housing New Zealand alone had an extra 320 houses that it built last year. We're on track now to build about another 700 next year and I've got to say that, compared to what's happening overseas, that's high, really high."

She said the Government was also working to open up the availability of income-related rent subsidies to social housing providers so they could provide homes for people on the Housing New Zealand waiting list.

"We want to open that up, which we have already done, that community housing providers have access to that income-related rent.

"That makes a huge difference for them and more importantly their tenants so they're getting cheaper housing."

Ms Bennett said many of the details of new arrangements to work with social housing groups have yet to be finalised.