The government is flogging off Queenstown-Lakes state houses despite paying lip service to affordable housing.
Amidst the widely-acknowledged housing crisis, Housing New Zealand - the agency charged with “providing housing services for people in need” – is today auctioning off a house it owns in Frankton Road.
Housing NZ says it’s selling the two-bedroom home, which it bought in 2003 for only $265,000, as it’s been vacant for some time.
“It simply doesn’t make sense for us to retain properties that we cannot tenant,” South Island regional portfolio boss Monique Fouwler says.
“It’s much better practice to look at selling them and invest the money in areas where there is demand.
“The Queenstown-Lakes district is one area where there is low demand for social housing.”
Asked to comment, Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust boss Julie Scott says her trust - which has more than 300 households on its waiting list - has discussed taking over or managing Housing NZ’s local state housing portfolio.
“We are disappointed that the government hasn’t wanted to take up our offer.”
She understands that Housing NZ used to own about 20 properties in Queenstown and Wanaka but has been selling “quite a few” on the open market.
Fouwler says for the same reasons it’s selling its Frankton Rd property, it also intends selling a further property in Wanaka “in the near future”.