Housing Policy

September 6th, 2005 at 7:36 am by David Farrar

Great to see National is going to deliver housing assistance to all low income New Zealanders, and gradually remove the discrimination against low income people who have a private sector landlord.

Labour’s policies have led to a huge 12,000 waiting list for state houses, as they deliver more assistance to you if the Government is your landlord.

Also pleasing to see incentives for state house tenants to buy their state homes. Labour calls this privatisation – helping state house tenants purchase the home they have lived in for years. And the money from any sales will go towards buying and more houses so the level stays fairly constant.

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22 Responses to “Housing Policy”

  1. Berend de Boer () says:

    What’s next? Meal assistance? Study assistance? Car assistance? Bike assistance? Computer assistance? Lots of need out there y’know.

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  2. tim barclay () says:

    This is very sound policy. What happens to people who do not strike it lucky and have to wait on a waiting list. Do they get assistance while they wait?? If so how much, is it as much as the ones that strike it lucky and get a state house??? The Labour Party just loves those waiting lists. They ration health that way and watch them die.

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  3. Peter Cresswell (Not PC) () says:

    “What’s next?” asks Berend.

    Good question. Maybe furniture assistance, Berend, so that everyone can have nice furniture and good rugs on the wall. Art assistance so that people can all have good NZ art on the walls? And with meal assistance and car assistance perhaps they could promise a steak on every plate, and a car for every house. This isn’t sound policy is it, it is flagrant vote buying.

    Better to remove the legislative impediments that are raising house and land costs, such as those imposed under the Resource Management and the Building Act, and announce the phased removal of the Accommodation Supplement, which is nothing more than a landlord subsidy helping keeping lower-level rents higher than they should be.

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  4. Krimsonlake () says:

    Excellent! DPF, can I move in with you if National wins the election?:-)

    P.S. I have two unruly pets and I regularly burn sausages.

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  5. David Farrar () says:

    Wow KL we go from flirting and romantic threats of poison and axes to wanting to live together. I should have got worried when I saw the photos of you trying out wedding dresses.

    You may be relieved to know that there will be no change in rentals for anyone currently in a state house. It would only apply to new tenancies.

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  6. anon () says:

    Let’s hope Don is reading this blog then he might know what his housing policy is. How can a leader be so ignorant of his party’s policy?

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  7. Berend de Boer () says:

    Lots of good ideas in there PC. I especially like that art assistance. I’m sure National will keep subsidizing the arts, so why not require artists to make as much art as to be able to place a piece of ‘art’ in every home? Would at least save some money, because we don’t have to buy it.

    We might not have enough artists, but let just convert the 100s of 1000s on all kinds of benefits into artists. No one would notice the difference anyway.

    We will still need benefits for artists who currently are in a depression and unable to work of course.

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  8. Russell Brown () says:

    This is eye-wateringly AWFUL policy. From this morning’s Hard News:

    “The last time market rentals were phased in, from 1994 to 1996, the percentage of state house tenants spending half or more of their income on their housing costs increased from 37.5% to 58.8%. At the same time, the percentage of private tenants spending half or more of their income on rent increased from 58.9% to 62.7%. By the end of the 1990s, 71% of applicants for food parcels at the Auckland City Mission cited market rents as the reason for applying.”
    http://publicaddress.net/default,2495.sm

    It will *not* help private renters; it *will* bail out people who have made poor investments in residential property. Honestly, I simply cannot believe they are doing this again.

    Cheers,
    RB

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  9. Tane W () says:

    Peter,

    When you say “…impediments that are raising house and land costs” do you by any chance mean speculators buying second and third houses (and more besides? I know that they are not the only reason that house prices continue to rise, but they are a factor, and given how insane the difference is between the average income and the average house price, it seems only fair that we should attempt to give hardworking, “mainstream” New Zealanders a chance to buy their first home.

    How about some form of capital gains tax on non-residential houses? Or can you think of another less punitive measure that will discourage speculators and increase the chances for couples to get a decent house without selling a kidney.

    Or is the entire problem simply due to that hateful regulation?

    Your view would be appreciated.

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  10. sinner () says:

    Russell – what did you expect? Brash’s policy positions and philosophical stance has been open for all to see, especially at the knowlege wave conference and Hayek lecture – as you pointed out, available at his website.

    What’s the big deal? This is clearly where they are coming from, and clearly what the public wants!

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  11. David Farrar () says:

    Russell – no existing tenant will have their rental change.

    And frankly it is the only way you can meet demand from low income tenants without creating a huge disparity between winners and losers. Housing NZ simply can not build or purchase enough houses in areas of demand.

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  12. Tane W () says:

    “Housing NZ simply can not build or purchase enough houses in areas of demand.”

    So the answer is to sell them..? OK, provided the new owner is the occupant, you now have a family off the waiting list, but if they’re not? The experience of the 90s showed that a lot of the houses were bought by speculators, not by the tenants themselves. So you sell the houses while leaving the occupants as tenants. But I guess they’re not on the HCNZ list anymore, so the stats look good. Labour is not the only party to play fast and loose with statistics it seems.

    I guess most of us hoped that National had learned from the past about market rents ( or does “..achieved through ensuring equity between private rentals and state rentals” mean something else?). I guess a leopard can’t change it’s spots, and an idealogue can’t change his mind (reality be damned).

    Bugger the poor, as long as they don’t break into my house! Good on ya National, sound policies for a happy New Zealand.

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  13. Toa Greening () says:

    DPF, I have just read the Policy and would like make the following three points.
    1. No where in the Policy does it state that there will be no change in rentals for existing state house tenants.
    2. The Policy leaves me with the impression that it will be market rents with an accommodation supplement.
    3. The issue with the Home Buy back scheme is that it is not targeted. Everyone knows that the Low Socio-economic areas have a disproportionately high number of state homes and state rental leases. If the buy back scheme is not targeted (eg only to low socio-economic areas) then all that will happen is that we have a shift of tenants from high to low as developers buy out the tenants (often in creative ways) in the high socio-economic areas. This leads to more issues as you have a higher concentration of state tenants moving to the Low Socio-economic areas as your supplement will not cover the costs of rentals in high socio-economic areas.

    NZFirst has the fairest housing policy, Nationals housing policy will just create more inequity. So much for Nationals “We believe in one country for all, fair and equitable etc etc etc…”.

    BTW good attempt on talking it up though ;-).

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  14. Krimsonlake () says:

    DPF: Hehe, you caught me out in my nefarious plan to move myself into your abode and make you my official kitchen bitch. I hope you can cook!:-)

    I saw that about current tenants, but it seems strange that National would go there. Because that would still be perpetuating ‘inequality’ by allowing current HNZ tenants an extra advantage. I’m not sure what the point is, except to possibly soften the policy and only target waiting lists.
    Is Nationals aim here simply to eliminate waiting lists for HNZ properties?

    The accomodation supplement argument seems a bit pointless too. We already have a system of accomodation supplements, which were reviewed, and increased in certain circumstances, recently. Unless National intends to increase the accomodation supplement further all that lovely talk about somehow improving housing assistence seems like lip-service rather than anything particularly tangible.

    Also would the retention of income related rent apply to current HNZ tenants applying for area transfers?

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  15. danielle di riscio () says:

    honestly, this policy is fucking nuts. introducing market rents for state houses? if people could afford market rents they wouldn’t be living in state houses. i read that article and felt sick to my stomach, and amazed at nationals stupidity and blatant selfishness. how you can read it and think ‘good on don’ is a mystery to me.

    don obviously knew this is an appalling policy, which will lose him votes which is why the attention was taken off this by releasing it on the same day as his transport policy. which is shit too.

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  16. danielle di riscio () says:

    honestly, this policy is fucking nuts. introducing market rents for state houses? if people could afford market rents they wouldn’t be living in state houses. i read that article and felt sick to my stomach, and amazed at nationals stupidity and blatant selfishness. how you can read it and think ‘good on don’ is a mystery to me.

    don obviously knew this is an appalling policy, which will lose him votes which is why the attention was taken off this by releasing it on the same day as his transport policy. which is shit too.

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  17. Insolent Prick () says:

    No, Tane. Renters of the state house will only get a $15,000 subsidy for buying the state house they live in, if they hold the house for at least six years.

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  18. danielle di riscio () says:

    are you all joking? this is one of their worst policies. they should be embarrassed by it, and i believe they are, otherwise they would’ve actually told people they were bringing it out, instead of trying to hide it in the shadow of their terrible transport policy. it’s appalling.

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  19. Craig Ranapia () says:

    Danielle –

    Thanks for the penetrating policy analysis. The triple espresso is obviously working for you.

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  20. JBA () says:

    Ok, I work for the state organisation affected, and I can tell you this: market rents will stop the rampant fraud by the tenants. There are so many that are getting cheap rent, example $50pw for a 4 bedroom house, in some cases brand new – who are lying about their income. State Housing is spending millions trying to stop and investigate the fraud, and they are years behind in their investigations. often the tenant has moved before the case can be investigated. The whole attitude of tenants of this organisation is bad, many expect a handout, that it is thier right for the State to provide a house….its sickening.
    Roll on market rents, most in this organisation [yes, we have been talking!]support the Nats.

    Go Don!

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  21. danielle di riscio () says:

    thanks craig. vote greens.

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  22. Toa Greening () says:

    I went to a candidates meeting in Mangere. The Alliance candidate got up and attacked the Nats housing Policy for most of his speech. However at question time a lady questioned the candidate about the fact that she had been in living in a garage for two years on the state house waiting list and what were they going to do about it.

    DPF the Nats should promise that existing state tenants will be no worse under your housing policy (except in the case of fraudulent tenants) and then maybe your policy could actually help this lady. But I still do not agree with the general housing sell off.

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