A ''plan'' to sell almost a third of Dunedin's state housing
is another example of the Government ''neglecting the
regions'', Dunedin North MP David Clark says.
Housing New Zealand's ''state housing demand model'',
released under the Official Information Act (OIA), showed the
department intended to sell 476 Dunedin state houses in the
next 10 years, leaving 993 in the city, Dr Clark said.
The Dunedin ''sell-off'' was another example of the
Government ''neglecting the regions'' and part of wider plan
to shift resources north. An extra 2839 state houses were
planned for Auckland over the decade, he said.
Housing Minister Nick Smith said Dr Clark's claims were
incorrect and it was a case of ''desperate scaremongering by
the Labour Party on the basis of out-dated  figures''.
''It was a statistical analysis by an official over where
demand could be for state housing by 2024, nothing more.
''There is a huge difference between a projection and a
Decisions to sell properties were made each year, based on
''The reality is that in communities like Dunedin, like
Invercargill, we have low demand for state housing and we
have got very high demand in places like Queenstown and
Dr Clark maintained the plan would hit the regions hard.
''Without state houses, these people will be forced into the
private rental market, where they will pay higher rents and
have less security of tenure.''
Other parts of the South would also suffer, including
Invercargill, set to lose 185, or 53%, of its stock, Clutha
24 (65%), Gore 29 (54%) and Waitaki 19 (16%).
It was also concerning it took an Official Information Act
request for the information to become public''It almost
appears they are trying to sweep it under the carpet.''
Housing New Zealand general communications manager Bryony
Hilless said in a statement it did not need as many
''properties in smaller centres where there is less demand''.
The demand forecasting it carried out in 2012 was ''one of
several factors'' which informed its ''asset management
Apart from the focus away from smaller centres, there was
also reduced need for three-bedroom homes, in favour of
two-bedroom and four-bedroom-plus homes. Communications
manager Cassandra Rivers said ''generally speaking'' demand
was ''not as high in Dunedin as other areas''.
Presbyterian Support Otago chief executive Gillian Bremner
was concerned about the effect a sell-off could have on
housing availability for low-income families and said the
plan was also ''Auckland-centric''.
''It's a real concern that money is being diverted from this
city to foster a burgeoning growth in Auckland that I don't
think is sustainable or necessary.''