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The Standard

Affordable housing

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, January 18th, 2013 - 24 comments
Categories: class war, housing - Tags:

The housing bubble’s clearly back. More wealth concentrated in the hands of the few. More of the rest of us stuck with renting for life. The politicians are talking about affordable housing. But Labour’s plan’s not affordable unless your income’s $60,000 a year or more. And who could afford the petrol you would burn living in National’s planned exurbs?

Time was the government led new housing development by building state houses and offering soft loans to families to build in designated areas along public transport spines. What was wrong with that? We only gave up on affordable housing in the 1980s when the car was king, petrol was going to be cheap forever, and neoliberalism insisted that the government should leave it to the market.

The Labour/Green solution is part way there. 100,000 extra KiwiBuild homes plus the Greens’ 9,000 state houses deals with the supply side issue. Capital gains tax gets rid of some of the price-increasing demand from speculators. But who’s doing anything to assist the target audience – young families – to be in a position to buy those houses?

24 comments on “Affordable housing”

  1. end o times viper shorts 1

    Brian Rudman wasn’t about to let English’s blame of the auckland council rest yesterday –

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10859866

    we need to go back to the old to solve todays problems…

  2. Chris 2

    Not sure what the exurbs are you are talking about – haven’t caught that., but I would assume the Kiwibuild will be in the same areas. You can bet the acres of land that will be needed will not be found in city centres.

    • karol 2.1

      It may not be in city centres, so much as in suburban centres. There’s the Hobsonville shelved project that end o times links to above. I also have been watching the ongoing development of New lynn – something begun under Waitakere City Council, and continued under the Auckland Council since 2010.

      They have been building a new medical centre, car park complex beside LynnMall. It includes apartments on the top (3rd or 4th level), with an office in front of the building now providing info on buying these apartments.

      There’s also plans for further house and apartment complexes within walking distance of LynnMall – on sites that were once industrial sites (pottery/brick/clay industry that once thrived in New Lynn).

      • ad 2.1.1

        Whole of New Lynn reopens in March. 6 years of construction, and is now the rail network’s 3rd most popular station. The launch is going to be a bit of a thing…

    • Len Brown indicated there were 20,000 sections available in Auckland and major developments in the pipeline in East Tamaki, Massey and Silverdale.

      Auckland does need to grow up and not out.

      And it fascinated me how Blinglish can say Auckland should do something about affordable housing while at the same time the Government has reduced the competence of local government to the maintaining of good quality local infrastructure.

      • vto 2.2.1

        Blingish talks shit.

        Government put up the price of housing by an average $11,000 when Blingish put GST up 2.5%.

        Council put up the price of housing by an average about $15,000 when Councils put up development and other taxes, I mean “contributions”, recently.

        They are all bullshitters.

        You know, as a tangential issue, people down here in Chch have had enogh of govt and council and I am seeing more and more and more people simply giving govt and council the middle finger. People are building stuff without consent or anything. Respect for authority has drained. People are going off on their own and telling them to get fucked. Good for them I say.

        • Blue 2.2.1.1

          VTO will you be ok, when those buldings and alterations/repairs, built without consent, or engineers certification, fall down and kill someone?

          • vto 2.2.1.1.1

            Blue, from what I have seen, those buildings and alterations all get built to a standard above that required under any consent. People are more than happy and want to build as well as they can, they are just fed up to the eyeballs with every type of authority. Authority has lost respect and cred. Just like it has and continues to do in so many other spheres (think illegal police spying and arresting, politicians duplicity and lying, abuse of powers, on it goes, on it goes).

            Your idea that somehow having an authority oversee something makes it safe is actually quite laughable. Surely examples don’t need to be provided, but one is Pike River, another is CTV building.

      • tracey 2.2.2

        Man speaks with forked tongue… and the punters dont recall his contradictions.

      • Herodotus 2.2.3

        Len has been deceived, there are 20 k sections that have planning approval but the majority of these are held back by staging provisions that require infrastructure to occur before they can be developed e.g support roading networks e.g. flatbush stage 2, long bay, orewa, karaka.There are approx 2-4k sections that are on the market or currently under development (under development means that earth works have commenced – so will require 12+ months before they are able to build on or e/ w are completed and civil works are undertaken which takes 6 mths to complete. So don’t use this disingenuous 20k figure as being available to be built on today !!

  3. vto 3

    Look, it is blatantly obvious that the National Party will not be doing anything to bring down house prices. If house prices are rising they will get voted back in, if house prices are falling they will get voted out.

    Simple.

  4. Cayte Shepherd 4

    The Living Wage Campaign, when success is reached will ensure all people will have the ability to save and have discretionay Income.
    Which political partys have stated they support raising the minimum wage to $15/hour and pursuing a Living Wage? Only two so far and they are of the left. One is large the other not so large. Check out David Shearers speech to Conference 2012 it’s in there. http://www.labour.org.nz/news/speech-new-zealand-a-new-direction

    • just saying 4.1

      The Living Wage Campaign, when success is reached will ensure all people will have the ability to save and have discretionay Income.

      But there would have to be a job for everyone who wants one. And a living wage such as you describe would need to be considerably more than $15 per hour. And benefits for those who can’t work would have to be raised dramatically. And housing availablity and cost would need to be sorted-out.

      Does David Shearer support the above? Or are you being disingenuous?

    • Salad 4.2

      $15 is NOT a “living wage”.

      • fatty 4.2.1

        $15 is NOT a “living wage”.

        True…but it could be if it was introduced alongside a more ethical tax system, such as the first $27000 earned is tax free, and abolish GST.
        Also need free healthcare, free education, food in schools, universal child supplement, state housing etc.
        But I agree, if nothing else is done, then $15 p/h will do little more than prolong our problems. $15 p/h is probably something National will agree to in a couple of years

  5. Tiresias 5

    “More of the rest of us stuck with renting for life.”

    “Stuck” in this context is surely a Freudian slip, for it reveals that you regard ‘renting’ as somehow inferior to ‘owning’ – buying straight into the Right’s vision of ‘us and ‘them’.

    Sure there’s a lot wrong with the current system of leasehold, but nothing that can’t be put right by some intelligent legislation – security of tenure, a Rent Tribunal with a clearly-defined concept of a ‘fair rent’, an enforceable right to have repairs and maintenance carried out promptly, a right to claim a share of any increases in property value accruing to agreed improvements carried out by the tenant, &tc.

    Sure you’re paying part of your rent to your landlord – the part that doesn’t get swallowed up by rates and insurance and the aforesaid repairs and maintenance. Does that feel any better than paying three or four times the value of the property to the banksters in interest over 30 years while still having to pay rates and insurance &tc?

    What’s the magic in owning? A man’s house is his castle? Fugeddaboudit, when the local council can tell you what you can and can’t plant in your garden or turn up unannounced to require you to chop down your tree or upgrade your sewer. Yeah, you own a footprint of dirt – and if your job or job prospects mean you have to move you’ve all the costs of selling it, if you can, and buying another suitable footprint in hopefully the roughly right place with another bucket-load of lawyers and bureaucrat’s fees to cough up.

    You’re not paying rent to some fat-cat landlord? Maybe, but in addition to the interest on your mortage you’re paying local authority rates, insurance premiums, plus Joe the Plumber, Mac the Glazier, Tom the Tiler, Kevin the Carpenter, Paul the Painter and all their mates for all those jobs that need doing which you don’t have the time and or the know-how to do yourself. Or not paying them and watching the property get shabbier and more decrepit as its value goes down.

    Ask all the folk in Ireland or Spain or the USA who have been struggling to pay their mortgages to buy their homes until unemployment or just a rising cost of living that has outstripped wage increases for years beat them, and have been thrown out of their homes by the banks still owing them money because the sale value of the house is now less they still owe, if they wouldn’t have been better off just renting.

    As the folk of Christchurch whose damaged homes have been bought out from under them at less than replacement cost, or who are still fighting their insurers, or who are stuck jobless in homes they can’t sell because of all the uncertainty, if renting is such a bad idea.

    As the folk who in good faith bought homes built with untreated timber because some idiot in Government thought they knew better than practically every other building code in the world, if they think buying your own home is a big deal.

    Do we really want sprawls of basic, cheaply-built houses around the edges of our town and cities – bearing in mind that cheaply-built means short-life and expensive to maintain. What do you suppose these developments are going to look like in ten years time? In twenty years?

    I suggest we need:

    1. An adequate, well-maintained stock of rental properties meeting all needs from those of the newly-married to those of the elderly and infirm, preferrably owned and maintained by the State or local authorities to compete with a well-regulated private rental stock, and

    2. A shift away from the thinking that holds a property-owner is a superior person to a renter.

    Tho’ I will admit that if you bust your financial gut over half-a-lifetime to buy your own property you will at the end of your life have a valuable asset for your kids to be itching to sell and squabble over.

  6. Cayte Shepherd 6

    It would be helpful if people could think.

    Of course the living wage is not $15 per hour, that is a staged step.

    With a government with a full emplyment policy, jobs would be a major focus, as occured during the Labour/Alliance/ Progressive years. Or have people forgotton that we had about 3% unemployment in 2008 and the minimum wage had increased by 75% since 1999. With John Key and National squandering this achievment and advantage.

    Employment, by building 100,000 new houses, will be created in all the allied fields add onto this biofuels, preventage health policy which assist people to stay well instead of getting sick from preventable lifestyle disease. And once a government starts done this alternate tack jobs will be created in areas which we do not yet know.

    All it takes is a modicum of lateral thinking, desire and ability to be hands on to manage the processes required instead of relying on the chance of the market as dictated by neoliberal freemarket capiltalism and the derivative TINA (there is no alternative).

    • karol 6.1

      Neoliberals can be very hands on – like in selling off state houses, bringing in punitive social security policies, managing processes to enable the building of Sky City Convention Centre, CERA, etc.

      There’s a difference between neoliberal PR and the practice. Bringing private enterprise within the state system is part of their way of managing things – PPPs etc.

  7. Blue 7

    Cayte “instead of relying on the chance of the market as dictated by neoliberal freemarket capiltalism” Do you think the boom times in that decade were in spite of the capitalist market system or, as is reality, because of it? You can’t have it both ways and despise capitalism and blame it for the perceived current ills, and not credit capitalism for the good times it provided as well. Boom times means more taxes paid, more for the Government to spend. Surely that is more logical?

    • bad12 7.1

      The ‘boom times’ as you call them were an artificial construct of Governments of the past 20 years,

      (1), Stop building State owned rentals and in some cases as Government sell them into the private sector without providing replacements,

      (2), Artificially raise the population by some 1 million souls over a 20 year period by loosening immigration criteria,

      The numbers say it best, for a population of 3.3 million we had Government owned rental stock of 75,000 homes,

      For a population now of 4.4 million we have as that same Government owned rental stock 69,000 homes,

      The differences in those numbers are where the ‘demand’ both for private rentals and owned housing lies,the demand has pitted ‘rental investors’ against ‘home owners’ and has obviously pushed the prices up…

  8. tracey 8

    Blue

    Does that mean there were no waiting lists in hospitals during the good times?

  9. Ed 9

    The last big advance in housing provision was the building of new suburbs in the 40’s and 50’s – but as has been pointed out the scope for further sprawl is more limited – especially in Auckland. Replacing existing houses with higher density housing will not be easy but can be done. One way through the financing side is to go back to some form of State Advances mortgages, possibly linked to ‘rent to buy” arrangements that allow shared property ownership with the resident having the right to purchase on an agreed basis – possibly using RV or some agreed value from time to time. I don;t thin we should be too rigid about how assistance is given.
    A different problem is the passion for building expensive homes – developers need incentives to build lower cost housing – or perhaps penalties in building expensive homes. The UK has stamp duty on a scaled basis that affects auction prices at the margin for example. It doesn’t look as though we are going to get finance companies back supporting developers any time soon (didn’t National promise legislation there?), but possibly Kiwibank could be funded enough to be able to compete in the market for mortgages on lower value homes . . .
    Care also needs to be taken that housing arrangements do not lock too many people in to not being able to move – we need a mobile population; a guaranteed repurchase of ‘rent to buy’ dwellings could maintain a pool of such dwellings, while keeping a fund rolling over to support new entrants to teh market. It could all be quite community supportive while being able to be dressed up for the ashpirational new-libs . . .t

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    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    1 day ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    1 day ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    2 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    2 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    2 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    3 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    4 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    5 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    6 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    6 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    7 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

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