Shock at state housing cuts

I was shocked to read in The Southland Times (May 13) that 579 state houses are being cut from Invercargill over the next 10 years.

Knowing what has happened in education and conservation I am fairly certain that little qualitative needs analysis has been done to support this decision.

New Zealand has one of the highest levels of under- employment in the OECD and around 20 per cent of our workforce is either unemployed or under-employed.

We have a large proportion of families being described as the ''working poor'', who cannot live on their incomes without further support. This paper has reported on the growing number of families in Invercargill that are seeking help (April 22). In this environment the Government decided to heavily cut their stocks of state housing and pass the responsibility of providing low-cost homes to the private sector.

Many families will now be forced to rent houses that do not need to comply with state housing standards or the warrant of fitness that is being introduced to them.

The quality of cheap rental housing in the private sector can be shocking and dampness and poor insulation are common.

The expense of trying to heat badly insulated homes is beyond low-income families and, according to the Children's Commissioner, there are growing numbers of children with respiratory illness.

All families should have access to decent housing where their kids can grow up healthily.

Green Party candidate Invercargill

The Southland Times