Home ownership for state house tenants

June 24th, 2009 at 2:23 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

State house tenants will be able to buy their homes from September.

And all low-income first-home buyers could be in for a boost as the Government considers increasing the cap on Welcome Home mortgage guarantees by up to $70,000.

Housing Minister said the state house sales scheme would be available to most tenants, with Housing New Zealand instructed to use the proceeds to build new homes where they were needed.

Allowing and encouraging state house tenants to own their homes is a great idea. From dependency to ownership.

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68 Responses to “Home ownership for state house tenants”

  1. ben (2,380 comments) says:

    If the proceeds are used to build more state houses, then isn’t dependency merely shifted from one person to another?

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  2. mike12 (183 comments) says:

    but, but then beneficiaries would be less reliant on the state and may even start to think for themselves and not automatically vote labour. How dare John key give these people hope…

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  3. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    Of course it is Ben.

    There is only one way that housing NZ should deal with this, as soon as one of our tenants contacts HNZ and enquires about purchasing the state house they live in they should receive a termination notice immediately

    If state house tenants can afford to purchase a house then they have no place living in accommodation that I subsidise.

    I am sick and tired of paying to house others, I already pay for their bloody kids through WFF and the DPB, why the hell should I also pay to house the buggers.

    We do not need to build any more state houses, those who can afford to buy their own home should be forced out of the housing that I provide to make way for the next loser.

    If we need emergency accommodation then build them out of shipping containers, that would soon motivate these people to get off their lazy backsides and better themselves.

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  4. bananapants (102 comments) says:

    Are you sick and tired of paying for roads too, bruv? And schools? And hospitals? Are you paying for them all by yourself? What proportion of the budget do each of these account for? What bit of what tax paid by whom goes where?

    The way you go on, you make it sound like welfare actually accounts for more than a squidgling of the budget. Sure, superannuation does. But DPB and WFF don’t. Anyway, the person who works is paying for their own working for families. Get it straight.

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  5. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    DPF said: From dependency to ownership.

    Not at all. Because the only tenants who will be able to afford to buy their state houses will already have been paying the market rent and therefore not been dependent on State subsidisation anyway.

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  6. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    banana

    Road…No, we need roads, lots of new roads.

    Schools..Yes, why should I pay to educate other peoples kids as well as my own?

    Hospitals..Yes, there should be a tax credit for those of us who have our own medical insurance.

    Superannuation…Yes, again, those of us who choose not to rely on future generations should not be burdened with the cost of those who want to sponge from the state in their retirement years.

    The thing is Banana that I could prove to you that most think the same way, all we need is a simple law change, if the govt sent us an invoice every month for the tax they steal from us instead of taking it from us before we even get it the public’s love affair with big government would change overnight.

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  7. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    Toad

    If the losers can afford to pay market rates then why the hell is the tax payer providing them with accommodation when the private sector can do that?

    I have long suspected that the so called “crisis” in state housing is bullshit, anybody who can pay market rates should be evicted.

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  8. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    I’ve never quite understood why the state provides subsidised housing, but lets those unable to fend for themselves buy their own food and clothing (the three classical physical needs) directly from their welfare. Surely a consistent policy response would be state housing, clothing and food for the welfare dependant OR a single welfare payment which the recipient then uses to acquire housing, clothing and food from the market (or no state welfare at all and private provision of charity but I am sticking with realpolitik for the moment).

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  9. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    I’m also not sure it’s fair to characterise everyone in a state house (or dependent on welfare) as a “loser”, at least in a pejorative sense.

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  10. bananapants (102 comments) says:

    bruv – I guess the answer to the questions you’re asking is that you have to live in a community. Now, if I were you I would want the people in my community to be relatively educated, relatively healthy, and relatively provided for. Do you know why? Because if they aren’t, they’ll come and steal your shit, eat your food, and then kill you. But not before they take your tv.

    It’s in your own interest to give a shit about others.

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  11. unaha-closp (1,165 comments) says:

    Sub-prime mortgages. Great.

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  12. Le Grande Fromage (145 comments) says:

    “It’s in your own interest to give a shit about others”

    Its in others own interest to give a shit about themselves rather than relying on the charity of the Government.

    If you keep giving it out they will keep taking it, cut it back and watch the shift in values… learn and earn or die.

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  13. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    Beat me to it unaha

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  14. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Do you know why? Because if they aren’t, they’ll come and steal your shit, eat your food, and then kill you. But not before they take your tv.

    Why isn’t it possible to have a decent police force?

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  15. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    “learn and earn or die”

    Yes indeed, the unemployed could eat their own children as per Jonathan Swift

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Proposal

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  16. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    “Why isn’t it possible to have a decent police force?”

    I would add ‘a decent justice system’ etcetera, etcetera.

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  17. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    Banana

    “I would want the people in my community to be relatively educated, relatively healthy, and relatively provided for”

    Then why after decades of social welfare are they still poorly educated, terribly unhealthy and appallingly provided for?, why after decades of social welfare are these same people still committing the crimes, killing their kids and clogging up our hospitals?.

    Le Grande is right, as long as we keep handing it out the losers will keep taking it and asking for more.

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  18. bananapants (102 comments) says:

    that’s right, learn and earn or die.

    Some of you would prefer it if the less able people in our community just died. And yet you’re the same people who complain about the rights of murder victims.

    Most people have more compassion than that. And they have more sense of hypocrisy and irony as well.

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  19. Le Grande Fromage (145 comments) says:

    Not a bad idea Sonic but obviously the unemployed wouldn’t have any children due to the compulsory sterilisation they would have undergone in order to collect their benefits.

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  20. sonic (2,818 comments) says:

    Why do you hate private enterprise so much Le Grande!

    People have to have a way to lift themselves out of poverty, and as Swift observed

    “”A young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragout.”

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  21. racer1 (352 comments) says:

    “big bruv
    Then why after decades of social welfare are they still poorly educated, terribly unhealthy and appallingly provided for?, why after decades of social welfare are these same people still committing the crimes, killing their kids and clogging up our hospitals?.”

    And here we see one of the great paradoxes of right wing thought (or lack there of). Welfare policy is such a failure that we must reduce the size of the hand out. Justice\penal policy on the other hand are such a failure that we must increase the size of sentences.

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  22. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Great idea, for those who still have an income.

    Much to the delight, no doubt, of big bruv and co, there will soon be many more people needing state hosuing as the government’s mismanagement of the economy continues to bite.

    Two large Christchurch manufacturers are on the verge of a second round of redundancies in six months.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/2530044/Bad-news-and-the-good

    Not good enough John Key.

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  23. ben (2,380 comments) says:

    Maurieo posts:

    I support this initiative. My parents bought a brand new state house in 1954 and my mother still lives in it today.
    Tenants who buy the houses should be required to live in them/own them for at least 10 years or pay some sort of penalty if they don’t. Last time state houses were for sale some developers paid tenants to buy their houses and then sell them on to the developer who was able to add value buy developing the property, particularly those in prime locations. Sort of defeated the purpose a bit.

    … and gets 8 thumbs up for it? I didn’t realise this blog was turning into a socialists convention.

    Maurieo can I suggest that the solution to the sort of behaviour you think is wrong is to get government out of subsidising housing. The problem is the subsidy. The answer is not to lump more regulation on top of the bad incentives. It is to get rid of the subsidy that created the distortion.

    Locking people into a home for ten years is a terrible idea. Circumstances change. jobs come and go. Etc.

    My econ 101 lecturer once said: if you want to help people on low incomes, adjust their incomes, but don’t touch prices.

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  24. bananapants (102 comments) says:

    some people are always going to do bung stuff, bruv. And the reforms of the 80s and 90s increased a lot of the gaps and thus we have a whole new generation of deprived people coming up now. But imagine how bad it would be if we didn’t have a decent welfare system. Want your answer? Look at the USA.

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  25. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    banana

    Why not have an optional “social tax”?, that way all those who are dumb enough to think that handing out money to generation after generation of these losers is going to improve things.

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  26. MajorBob (9 comments) says:

    If they buy the house at a fair market price, and like maurieo says controls are put in to control the developers then I see no issues with this. But the issue must first be addressed, if tenants of state houses can afford to buy them, then why are they in a state house in the first place? I would rather the govt focus on this then selling and building houses in a wasteful bureaucratic way that will only increase the amount of money tax payer will have to pay to accomplish maintaining the existing number of state houses.

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  27. Le Grande Fromage (145 comments) says:

    Things are pretty dire in the US as well Jack with a 10% unemployment rate. Socialist St Obamas fault or a hangover from the economic mismanagement of the evil GOP?

    God you are a tool.

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  28. unaha-closp (1,165 comments) says:

    Racer1

    And here we see one of the great paradoxes of right wing thought (or lack there of).

    I don’t see any paradox, left wing political thought consists of the same argument in reverse.

    The only people who might find these arguments paradoxical are anarchist utopians (reduce both) or totalitarian utopians (increase both).

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  29. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    “the reforms of the 80s and 90s increased a lot of the gaps”…blah blah blah.

    The same old tired shit from those who continue to blame the great work of Douglas and Richardson for the ills of today, what about the past nine years banana?, did Labour not have enough time to cure all these so called problems?.

    And why we are at it, can you tell me one of Sir Roger’s policies that Klark rolled back in her nine years in power?

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  30. burt (8,271 comments) says:

    A simple scheem would be that every state house tennant has the ability to ‘deposit’ money against the latest GV for the property buying an equity share. EG: Deposit $1,000 (from selling the neighbours TV & Stereo) and get an ( example only ) 0.4% ownership of the property.

    When they leave the property their percentage of equity is paid out or transfered to the next property. This ownership would encourage people to look after their properties to protect their own asset. Increasing porperty values would be working for state tennants giving them a better chance of getting off the downward dependency spiral.

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  31. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    ben (449) Vote: 0 0 Says:

    June 24th, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    My econ 101 lecturer once said: if you want to help people on low incomes, adjust their incomes, but don’t touch prices.

    How do you do that without affecting the price of labour? Did your econ 101 lecturer ever get beyond econ 101?

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  32. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    MNIJ

    Would you rather that Key followed the example of B Hussein Messiah Obama and borrow so much money they we can NEVER repay it?.

    There is a recession on you fool, a recession caused by the left meddling in the markets and people like B Hussein Messiah Obama handing out dodgy loans to people that had no chance of ever servicing those loans.

    Of course it is sad that these people are about to lose their jobs however that is the price we have to pay for idiots on the left fucking with the market.

    Those who do lose their jobs will find another, and in the mean time they have access to benefits to tide them over, for your information I have no problem at all with anybody going on the dole when they lose their job through no fault of their own, what I object to are those parasites who choose to stay on the dole when there are jobs available for them.

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  33. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Le Grande Fromage (18) 1 1 Says:

    June 24th, 2009 at 4:13 pm
    Things are pretty dire in the US as well Jack with a 10% unemployment rate. Socialist St Obamas fault or a hangover from the economic mismanagement of the evil GOP?

    God you are a tool.

    Have I missed something? Is John Key no longer NZ’s PM? Is Barrack Obama in charge? Did the Nationalistas promise economic management and prosperity for all? Is Bill English?

    NZ is suffering while the government flails around, holds “job picnics” and generally lets the country go to hel in a handbasket.

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  34. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    big bruv, i don’t recall seeing Obama’s name on the lists of management or directors at IAG, Citigroup, Bear Staines, nor do I recall “the left” in the White House the past 8 years, or is Shrub also a leftie in your view?

    The current problem is not too much regulation, it was too little regulation. Tyco and Enron showed the way, the writing was on the wall back then.

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  35. Michael E (274 comments) says:

    How did selling state houses to tenants become the next Enron? My view is this is a good thing, as tenants get to buy houses available in their budget range, rather than shoebox apartments or units that are the typical housing available for less than $250k.

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  36. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    MNIJ – I think that bb thinks that President Panty Waist should have let those institutions fail. Some other smaller, second or third tier organisations would move up to big boy status. Saddling every American family of four with $US 1m in debt doesn’t look like the way forward to me. BB is right – they will never pay that debt off.

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  37. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    The current problem Jack IS B Hussein Messiah Obama, his “leadership” has saddled the yanks with a deficit they can never hope to repay.

    But hey…..”ain’t he great at swatting fly’s”

    Obama is a tragic social experiment that proves affirmative action is and was a failed policy.

    Regulating the markets will only prolong the recession, mind you, I suspect that is Obama’s plan all along, the bastard claims he does not want to own GM yet the reality is that owning a company of that size is the stuff of dreams for socialist fools such as him.

    The market takes care of bad businesses, it lets them fail, only fools like B Hussein Messiah Obama think that pouring trillions into failed companies is a good idea.

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  38. racer1 (352 comments) says:

    “unaha-closp
    “Racer1

    And here we see one of the great paradoxes of right wing thought (or lack there of).

    I don’t see any paradox, left wing political thought consists of the same argument in reverse.

    The only people who might find these arguments paradoxical are anarchist utopians (reduce both) or totalitarian utopians (increase both).””

    The last labour government did not do the same in reverse though.

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  39. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    State Housing should be able to be bought in ‘Units’ or as a percentage every year.

    Rent to own effectively.

    In the UK, Thatcher embarked on the same strategy.

    It worked, but there were issues as well.

    Crooked mortgage companies preyed on the new house owners. Who having bought their house for a song. Then released Capital by way of a sub-prime mortgage to buy a bigger Plasma TV, Sky upgrade, More Gnomes for the Garden etc.

    The prices were to low to allow further re-investment in new affordable housing or state housing.

    Great idea, but the wrinkles need ironing out.

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  40. tknorriss (327 comments) says:

    The philosophical discussion about whether or not the state should be providing housing is one thing. However, if we take it as given that no government in the forseeable future will dump state housing completely, I think this is actually quite a good idea.

    1. It gets people who don’t need state assistance off the public teat.
    2. It is a self-funding way of getting more state houses for those who need it, if the generated revenue is ploughed back into more houses.
    3. It provides a bit of a boost to the construction sector in these tough economic times.

    So, it seems to kill a few birds with one stone.

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  41. burt (8,271 comments) says:

    Bum muscle

    State Housing should be able to be bought in ‘Units’ or as a percentage every year.

    That basically what I was saying @ 4:17.

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  42. unaha-closp (1,165 comments) says:

    The last labour government did not do the same in reverse though.

    You are correct.

    Actually the last Labour government built several new prisons and increased the prison population so that we imprison more per capita than China. The last Labour government let the dole fall to its lowest level relative to median wage in the last 34 years.

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  43. whalehunter (479 comments) says:

    The last labour government did not do the same in reverse though.

    kiwi rail..

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  44. Tom Semmens (79 comments) says:

    “…From dependency to ownership..”

    Wow, the National Government really does believe in vertical integration of cliches.

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  45. coolas (115 comments) says:

    I’d like to see this initiative taken to the max.
    Sell as many State houses as tenants want to buy with generous mortgage terms offered.
    Build as many new houses and apartments as profited … and more … keeps the construction industry ticking over … helps cushion recession … gives responsibility of home ownership. Do it and do soon.

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  46. bananapants (102 comments) says:

    Ok, some people have been here all day.

    Maybe it’s time to talk some real people. In real life. Not on the internets. Try to be kind to them – don’t go calling your wife a troll.

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  47. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    There are a few points to make here:

    1) Generally an HNZC tenant is unlikely to be able to afford to buy their own home. If they could afford it, then they wouldn’t be an HNZC tenant. In the 1990s when this practice was allowed, what you often saw was people getting money from private landlords to buy their own home, which they immediately sold onto that private landlord. Not really “letting HNZC tenants buy their own homes” in that case is it?

    2) One of the problems of not controlling which houses are sold and which houses are retained can be that you end up with big blocks of HNZC property having chunks taken out of it. This undermines the ability of the large area of property to be redeveloped by HNZC to a higher standard and to provide more homes for people.

    3) A better option would be to redevelop large tracts of HNZC property FIRST (whilst you have a nice big area of property in one ownership) and then sell off some of the new units to private owners. You could even end up making money out of it if you did things this way, rather than just merely breaking even through what is proposed.

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  48. burt (8,271 comments) says:

    jarbury

    So your answer ( A better option…) is more state provision of housing stock. However I think you miss something, providing new houses to state house tenants while people ‘standing on their own two feet’ can’t afford the same quality of houses is a little backward don’t you think? The contortions of reality the left will go to if it is a vote winner….

    Furthermore, in a large new housing estate what would stop private landlords lending money so people can buy them under a separate sell back agreement compared to letting people by existing stock?

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  49. whalehunter (479 comments) says:

    Don’t underestimate people in state housing, Phil Heatly said; ‘some are on incomes of $80-100k’.
    As long as you are poor when you apply, apparently it is disruptive to force you to move.
    All houses sold will be replaced with more expensive, new houses.
    I’m color blind.

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  50. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    This is exactly what Housing Victoria did in 1990, when the state was bankrupt and desparate for funds. They were so desparate they loaned the money to the tenants to buy their own houses at exceptionally low interest rates. Only problem was that these people had no income. This was fine for few years until the new Liberal state government called in the loans. Most of the tenants actually owed more than they paid for the houses, which had become run down and worth land value only. They became double losers in the end had no where to live and were bankrupt.
    My advice to tenants looking to sell- get a lawyer to go through your sale and finance agreement.

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  51. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    … then sell off some of the new units to private owners. You could even end up making money out of it if you did things this way.

    A green talking about the state making a profit. Apparently capitalism and profit are fine if the state, or indeed the socialist-supporting individual is the one benefiting… but an abhorent exploitation of the workers if anyone else attempts to so transact.

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  52. Crusader (314 comments) says:

    BEN: “If the proceeds are used to build more state houses, then isn’t dependency merely shifted from one person to another?”

    That’s the idea. A person should only be dependent while he/she HAS to be. The moment they are able to become independent it is not only in the state’s interest, but also in the person’s interest, to be off the benefit, owning propery and gaining equity for the future.
    Meanwhile there will be others who are temporarily in need of state assistance. A new state house would help them while they need it (until they are able to stand on their own 2 feet of course, by which time their interests would be better served by allowing them to buy into the property ownership ladder.)
    This would not be compulsory, but an option to take up that would benefit all parties.
    Furthermore the construction of newer, better insulated houses, would also stimulate the economy and could even be considered to have some environmental benefits too.
    One would have to be very blinkered by ideology not to see the advantages of such a scheme.

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  53. EverlastingFire (286 comments) says:

    Even if they were sold off at market prices, the house will probably be worth a lot less from when it was built after CERTAIN tenants having been living in it. People who live in “poverty” are more likely to be destructive and will not provide the house with proper maintenance. When you’ve got layabouts like the Mongrel Mob residing in them, you’d be a fool to think they’d be in the same condition (inside and out) from when they entered and left.

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  54. clintheine (1,571 comments) says:

    Why does the left defend the welfare state that has GENERATIONS of failure and neglect to “celebrate”?

    Why are Econ101 lecturers feeding bullshit to young impressionable minds? You wonder if that prof is a Labour supporter.

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  55. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “You wonder if that prof is a Labour supporter.”

    Some one (Fairfacts Media?) did an analysis of face book pages from the NZ universities and said 80 per cent of the staff had identified as being Labour Party supporters.

    Without these partisan “educators” indoctrinating/ preying on those students who are weak minded and stupid, the left would lose 75% of its support.

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  56. Swampy (191 comments) says:

    All the arguments about who qualifies for HCNZ assistance is fatuous nonsense. I know of a number of people whose first home of their own was a State house bought from the government and this was actually the original intention of the State housing programme back in the 1930s. Obviously they all qualified, and the ones I can think of weren’t living in poverty. Every year a number of HNZC tenants buy houses, most of them haven’t been able to buy the house they were living in because Labour had a blanket ban on selling any. Now National has introduced this enlightened policy, selling houses will be good for the ghettos they are often in because housing ownership lifts the character of a neighbourhood.

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  57. Shunda barunda (2,983 comments) says:

    “Now National has introduced this enlightened policy, selling houses will be good for the ghettos they are often in because housing ownership lifts the character of a neighbourhood.”

    This is strongly the case in the area I am in, as soon as some of the houses were sold (not sure exactly when), done up, and with a bit of landscaping the difference was astonishing. There are still state house’s there, but not in a solid block like there used to be, totally different neighbourhood now.

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  58. racer1 (352 comments) says:

    “Redbaiter
    Some one (Fairfacts Media?) did an analysis of face book pages from the NZ universities and said 80 per cent of the staff had identified as being Labour Party supporters.”

    I doubt thats true, though if it is, I guess it shows what a proper education does for you.

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  59. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Anything wrong with tents? They are good enough for the Palestinians. They are lovely caring folk as well.

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  60. david (2,557 comments) says:

    Its really not big news. Labour sold between 800 and 900 state houses per year (or so the story goes). The real difference is that Labour were selling the big ones with million dollar views (and million dollatr valuations) which meant that all they ended up with was a series of shitfights from tenants who didn’t want to move and couldn’t afford to buy the house.

    It would be interesting to trawl through those sales and identify the purchasers as an exercise in working out who gains from the respective policies.

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  61. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    In the 1990s when this practice was allowed, what you often saw was people getting money from private landlords to buy their own home, which they immediately sold onto that private landlord.

    The tenants were allowed to buy at 90% of market value, that’s why they sold them.

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  62. david (2,557 comments) says:

    When all is said and done, the objectives of state housing should be openly established and the rules should include a provision for ending tenancies when a certain level of household income is reached. Nothing is more ridiculous than seeing a State House with 2 new cars and a Haines Hunter in the drive. IMHO it is not the role of the State to be a Commercial Landlord so we should not have anyone on market rents.

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  63. ben (2,380 comments) says:

    Crusader.

    DPF said “From dependency to ownership.”

    I pointed out that no fewer people are going to be dependent because of a scheme that replaces one dependent state tenant with another.

    Simple, really.

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  64. jarbury (464 comments) says:

    So your answer ( A better option…) is more state provision of housing stock. However I think you miss something, providing new houses to state house tenants while people ’standing on their own two feet’ can’t afford the same quality of houses is a little backward don’t you think? The contortions of reality the left will go to if it is a vote winner….

    Furthermore, in a large new housing estate what would stop private landlords lending money so people can buy them under a separate sell back agreement compared to letting people by existing stock?

    Burt, what I’m saying isn’t necessarily an increase in the number of state houses, although you could increase the number of state houses.

    What I suggest is where HNZC have a large chunk of property they redevelop it to higher densities first, and then perhaps sell some of those additional units. Surely that makes more sense than selling off existing units (that may have redevelopment potential) only to buy other units?

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  65. peterquixote (231 comments) says:

    dudes one of the problems with State housing is that they are not occupied by low income people.
    I have an acquaintance who turns tricks, sells gear, and steals makes like $700 per week,
    she pays $180 per week for this state state house.
    Her next door neighbor pays $300 rent and brings up two boys on a $400 per week salary,

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  66. adam2314 (377 comments) says:

    What was wrong with the old 3.5% State advances loan ?.

    How many of you were brought up or owned such a house ?.

    There is nothing wrong with home ownership no matter how it is attained.

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  67. adam2314 (377 comments) says:

    Peterquixote.

    A $400 a week SALARY ???.

    Even flipping burgers pays more than that..

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