Is state housing for life?

Sunday News reports:

MORE than half of all households in private rental accommodation need state subsidies to pay the rent, says a new report that urges the Government to vest some of its “cold, mouldy and old” Housing New Zealand stock in not-for-profit groups.

It also reveals the Government is moving to abandon the decades-old acceptance that a state house is a “house for life”.

In its report on New Zealand’s social housing system, the Housing Shareholders Advisory Group says Housing New Zealand is developing strategies to provide homes only “for as long as [a] need exists”.

This is a significant shift from the practice of leaving tenants in the same house for years, giving them security of tenure regardless of whether their circumstances change.

This is merely sensible.  The provision of should be done to those most in need, and is not a life-time entitlement.

It will never happen of course, but a more sensible policy would be to have the state provide income assistance to tenants based purely on need, and not on who the landlord is.

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