A High Court legal challenge is being prepared to tackle the Government's plans to sell state houses in Tauranga.

State Housing Action Incorporated (SHA) said selling the houses was "unconscionable" where ther ewas a housing crisis for people on low incomes.

SHA convenor John Minto said: ''We are utterly appalled the government intends to pursue the sale of state housing when we have a housing crisis for families on low incomes.

''It's an unconscionable decision driven by blind ideology.''


Minto said the legal action became urgent since the government announced last Friday that its preferred buyer of the houses was the IHC, through its company Accessible Housing.

Minto said the SHA was being represented in court by Tauranga barrister Michael Sharp and more details would be revealed when papers were filed in court, possibly later this week.

A response is being sought from Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett, who previously said the transfer would not change tenants' eligibility for social housing and they would continue to be supported.

"Our bottom line remains that any properties transferred must remain as social housing and cannot be sold unless the Government agrees otherwise.''