Possible consequences for state house decliners
By Sarah Robson
The government looks set to clamp down on people who turn up their noses more than once at the state houses they are offered.
Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett says there are people on the waiting list for a state house who decline a property without good or sufficient reason.
"They often decline because they didn't like the neighbour or they didn't think the fence was good enough," she told the National Party's annual conference yesterday.
"There are no repercussions for people who decline houses."
Ms Bennett said the government is looking to change that, with further announcements expected this year.
She has mooted giving people a warning after their first refusal. If they decline a second time, they will be taken off the waiting list.
"If you're that desperate and if you're on that waitlist, I've got thousands behind you who are in real need as well," Ms Bennett said.
"You don't get to stay at the front of the queue to wait for the perfect home. You accept what's given to you as long as it suits your children."
In the year starting in November 2013, 4155 offers of state houses were declined, Ms Bennett said.
About seven percent of people on the waiting list had declined three or more times, she said.