Herald on Housing

August 11th, 2010 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald editorial:

The membership of a taskforce will always play a central role in determining the credibility of its recommendations. If a group is stacked with people of a particular bias, its findings will probably be of limited value. When, however, Diane Robertson of the Auckland City Mission and Major Campbell Roberts of the Salvation Army were appointed members of the Shareholders Advisory Group, it could safely be assumed that the whole range of options for improving social would be canvassed.

Duly, the group has delivered a report rooted in practicality. …

Some on the left have already started to condemn the two named above for the crime of being practical, and wanting solutions that work and are affordable.

Commendably, the advisory group looks critically at what has become the “house for life” expectation of many Housing NZ tenants. A state house has come to be regarded as a right, not a privilege. Some 22,000 tenants, or a third of the Housing NZ portfolio, have been in the same state house for at least a decade. In that time, many would have had children leave home or other changes in their circumstances. This means the Housing NZ stock is under-used. Many of these tenants could quite easily move to private housing, freeing up their houses for those in greater need.

If one has state house rentals greatly lower than non state house rentals, then it is essential that limited stock of state houses be directed towards those most in need. And that will not always be the current occupants.

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20 Responses to “Herald on Housing”

  1. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Whatever the outcome, I hope they take into account ramifications on the P trade.

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  2. pedrogarcia (46 comments) says:

    Yes but it doesn’t follow that we should give these assets, paid for by the public, to faith based charities to manage.

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  3. ben (2,386 comments) says:

    In that time, many would have had children leave home or other changes in their circumstances. This means the Housing NZ stock is under-used.

    Allocative inefficiency in the provision of goods by the state. Who’d have ever guessed?

    If changing circumstances is the problem then perhaps the state could take over raising children as well. That would definitely see housing utilisation rates improve. Which can only be a good thing, eh Lefties?

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  4. Jibbering Gibbon (200 comments) says:

    “In that time, many would have had children leave home or other changes in their circumstances. This means the Housing NZ stock is under-used”

    Who writes this crap. Has thinking been outlawed at the Herald office or is there a class you take at University now called Assumption 101?

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  5. grumpyoldhori (2,410 comments) says:

    David, we on the left would encourage the National government to throw old widows out of the houses they bought their four kids up in.
    Might I suggest supplying tents to those homeless old widows.

    [DPF: Who has greater need of that state house - a widow with no kids left at home, or the mum/dad who still have their four kids at home? The widow can move into a smaller house - there is a range of choices between their current home and a tent]

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  6. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    What is your assumption JG – that the needs of every family that is allocated a state house remains the same indefinitely?

    I don’t think the state (ie us) should provide a three bedroom low rental home to a single person whose kids have left home. I’m sure there are families more in need of assistance.

    goh, it isn’t a matter of throwing them out, that shouldn’t be necessary. People in the real world who rent houses will often change houses to suit their circumstances. Shit, people who own their own homes sometimes have to sell them and downsize.

    All state rentals should be reviewed annually, and fair notice should be given if a state house renter no longer meets the criteria.

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  7. tom hunter (4,012 comments) says:

    Some on the left have already started to condemn the two named above for the crime of being practical, and wanting solutions that work and are affordable.

    I’ll bet. See my post on something similar in the US with Paul Ryan.

    The key question is whether John Key – or anybody in National – will actually engage in argumentative combat in support of these people being condemned.

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  8. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    And we on the right encourge the left to continue with a policy of pissing taxpayers money away needlessly.

    Thats how we got to where are today. With labour in opposition.

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  9. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    # grumpyoldhori (1,285) Says:
    August 11th, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    David, we on the left would encourage the National government to throw old widows out of the houses they bought their four kids up in.
    Might I suggest supplying tents to those homeless old widows.

    More to this comment – might I suggest that old widows supply their own tents. And all other state tenants who no longer need taxpayer subsidies.

    The “state house for life” entitlement mentality makes a lot of taxpayers very grumpy.

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  10. Jibbering Gibbon (200 comments) says:

    Ah Pete, it seems you graduated that course. If you can’t see the disconnected logic of the statement then I won’t be able to explain it to you.

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  11. tom hunter (4,012 comments) says:

    David, we on the left would encourage the National government to throw old widows out of the houses they bought their four kids up in.

    What you really want is for National to burn the houses down with the grannies still inside.

    After all, you know who else would do that – Hitler!

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  12. Jibbering Gibbon (200 comments) says:

    No, you’re owed an explanation, Pete. Look at it this way, mathematically:

    20 year old couple move in. 3 or 4 years later they have child, then another. They stay for 10 years. Maybe they have a third child in that period. How many people in the house now? Compared to when they entered it? Under used stock or overused? HNZ rentals only occupied by menopausal women and retirees?

    So yeah, circumstances change. Sometimes in inconvenient ways for witch-hunters and people pushing political barrows.

    Fuck, people. You’re being played by moronic editors. Sharpen your game.

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  13. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “The key question is whether John Key – or anybody in National – will actually engage in argumentative combat in support of these people being condemned.”

    They won’t. They do not have a damn clue, and Key would be one of the most clueless. Its like he’s a manifestation of all of those letters written to the NZ Herald years ago and that escaped the censorship of the editor because they contained not one word that confronted the editor’s PC sensibilities.

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  14. peterwn (2,940 comments) says:

    Unfortunately it is political dynamite. TV cameras filming bailiffs evicting people makes great 6 o’clock news, even if a smaller house, free removal van and reimbursement for out of pocket expenses are part of the deal.

    A state tenant lobby group is already accusing the sallies of selling tenants ‘down the river’.

    Labour loves the present set-up because state tenants have a very strong tendency to vote Labour (or Green or Jim) to help ensure tenure, and Labour helps this by scaring the wits out of them about what the ‘nasty Nats’ will do to their tenure.

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  15. backster (2,000 comments) says:

    “then it is essential that limited stock of state houses be directed towards those most in need. And that will not always be the current occupants.”

    Those most in need will inevitably be those who have never paid tax, refugees, immigrants, and irresponsible breeders. Indeed solos who need to reproduce every six years to remain on the DPB will become more eligible with every liability they impose on taxpayers.

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  16. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    20 year old couple move in. 3 or 4 years later they have child, then another. They stay for 10 years.

    I’d be very surprised if a 20 yr old couple would qualify for a state house. They shouldn’t.

    But using your logic – 20 yr old couple get a state one bedroom flat (they still shouldn’t qualify). They have three kids over the next five years. But there are no three bedroom houses available because they occupied by now single widows and solo mothers with no kids at home.

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  17. tom hunter (4,012 comments) says:

    Grammar. Grrrrrhhhh….

    …..will actually engage in argumentative combat in support of these people who are being condemned.

    Although it does still work in the original ;)

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  18. RightNow (6,350 comments) says:

    I know Campbell Roberts, he doesn’t need anyone to argue on his behalf. He’s been working among NZ’s poor and disaffected for the last 3 decades or more and knows the facts better than any politician ever will.
    The irony is he is most likely a Labour voter, as many Sallies tend to be (nothing wrong with a little stereotyping http://verydemotivational.com/2010/08/06/demotivational-posters-stereotypes/ ) out of a misguided belief that Labour is acting in the best interests of the downtrodden.

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  19. trout (865 comments) says:

    With the Labour Party increasing their dissasociation from the people they purport to represent (a party full of Union delegates, teachers, lawyers and ex Govt. bureaucrats is hardly representative) they can only resort to slogans and ideology. Put them up against somebody of the experience and calibre of Campbell Roberts and their arguments look facile.

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  20. Viking2 (10,744 comments) says:

    Easy to move people on. Adjust the rents to full market rate, include extra for rates and insurance and something for return on investment and they will be gone before the dog shakes his cock.
    Too many selfish people who think that taxpayers owe them a comfortable home at no expense.
    And as I commented a day or so ago, where were the property investors, i.e. the average Mum and Dad ones represented on this tin pot committee. Who will dare uproot the bureaucracy at HNZ and who will even think about listening to residential tenancy owners about the rules and what needs changing. No one.
    Much that could be done with some rule changes.
    Too tough to get rid of bad tenants for a start.
    Another waste of space appeasement committee.

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