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2800 state houses “transferred”

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, April 1st, 2016 - 40 comments
Categories: housing, Privatisation - Tags: , ,

Yesterday 2800 state houses in Auckland were “transferred” / “offloaded” to a new Crown/Council authority. This has been a long and contentious process. From 2015:

Government offloads 2800 state houses to Auckland development company

Ownership and management of 2800 state houses will be transferred to an Auckland redevelopment company, as the Government moves to offload some of its massive stock of housing in Auckland.

The houses will be transferred to the Tamaki Redevelopment Company (TRC), “to encourage regeneration”, said Finance Minister Bill English and Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith in an announcement on Thursday.

Twyford said the TRC was a “fledgling” company, which did not have the expertise to look after 8000 tenants.

“Acting Prime Minister Bill English has been casting around to find someone, anyone, who will take state houses off him, in order to give his sell-off policy some legitimacy after the Salvation Army and the Methodist Mission panned the policy and ruled themselves out as buyers.

“The Tamaki Redevelopment Company has been setting itself up to lead the redevelopment of the area’s housing stock. Now Bill English’s desperation to sell off state houses has seen him foist 2800 houses on them, forcing them to become one of the country’s biggest landlords overnight.”

Twyford said the company had no plans to become a landlord. “They came to Parliament only a few weeks ago and expressed frustration at the slow pace of redevelopment. They expressed no intention to become a landlord or social housing provider and no such intention exists within their annual report, constitution or letters of intent,” Twyford said. “In his desperation to look like he is doing something, Bill English’s risky move at Tamaki could put a half-billion dollar asset, 8000 state house tenants, and an important urban renewal project in jeopardy.”

But English said TRC planned to build about 7500 new houses in place of 2500 existing ones over the next 10 to 15 years. “Over half of the new houses will be sold to help offset construction costs, and the remainder will be retained as social housing. Our bottom line is that there will be at least as many social houses in Tamaki as the 2800 there now.”

Auckland Mayor Len Brown said it was a positive step towards the strategic long-term vision for the area. “Our aim is to create liveable communities and affording housing options for people right across the region and the Tamaki area will be a testament to what we can achieve when central and local government work together.”

There have been a series of protests over this move. Residents feel that they have been left “in the dark” – see their Facebook page.

The TRC has a nice shiny website here. A spokesperson issued a statement in response to criticism on Kiwiblog (how’s that for red-flagging your ideology!). It concludes:

These protest groups can have their hikoi and huis; but we prefer to build high quality homes, provide jobs, reduce the number of people the State is supporting, and provide opportunities for our residents to move from dependence to independence like many others before them.

So they plan to “reduce the number of people the State is supporting”. No wonder residents are worried. They didn’t ask to be in the front-lines of this ideological experiment. The rest of NZ needs to keep a close eye on the TRC and developments in Tamaki.

40 comments on “2800 state houses “transferred” ”

  1. David H 1

    If TRC have no plans to become a Landlord, then what now for the tenants of these 2800 houses?? 2800 Lease termination notices?

  2. johnm 2

    I agree 100% with these viewpoints, just more privatisation by stealth and ultimate exclusion! 🙁

    Regeneration IS gentrification. The Tāmaki Redevelopment Company is making profits off public land and promising state tenants that they will be able to stay in the community. What about those who have already been evicted? Regeneration has been a code word for displacement of the poor all over the world. Yeah they say they’re building houses for the people, but this will eventually lead to being priced out.

    Don’t be fooled by Tāmaki Redevelopment Company framing this project as regeneration:
    “Rapid gentrification – praised as “regeneration” by local councils and property developers, derided as “social cleansing” by critics – is breaking up established communities. In some cases, families who’ve lived in London for generations are left homeless; in others, they are forced to move across the city or out of it completely. Meanwhile, the real estate opportunities are making lots of people – many of whom do not actually live in London – very rich.”

    https://www.vice.com/en_uk/video/regeneration-game

  3. adam 3

    I’m going to ask the Pope to excommunicate Bill English, it is the only reasonable response at this point.

    • Olwyn 3.1

      In the unlikely event of the Pope acting on your suggestion, it would be interesting to see which way English swung if he was thus pressed. On the one hand, he’s not getting any younger, on the other, he owes a lot to his relationship with mammon. Hard choices. 🙂

  4. tinfoilhat 4

    Something to watch very very carefully over the coming months and years.

    • TC 4.1

      wheels are in motion, this has all the hallmarks of plundering valuable akl property for their backers benefit.

      Twyford needs to step up the tone and get some attention on this. Nationals msm will largely ignore it.

    • Olwyn 4.2

      I agree tinfoilhat. The left has not proved able to prevent this from happening, but it can insist that this company is held to it’s claim that there will at least be no less social housing in that area. And “reducing the number of people the state is supporting” should be held to mean “give them jobs” rather than “kick them out onto the street” and judged accordingly. If the Christchurch rebuild is anything to go by, I will be surprised if they even live up to the more benign “give them jobs” interpretation of that statement.

  5. Ffloyd 5

    Which paper was it reported in? I can’t find it to read it.

  6. Keith 6

    When and where did National get the mandate to walk away from the government’s responsibility to look after the less fortunate.

    I would accept the assurances of a Nigerian phone scammer above those of Nick Smith and Bill English that for state tenants that it will be business as usual for them. Yes that’s right people, your accommodation fifties are in the hands of Nationals property developers.

    National couldn’t care less about the poor but really do care about the wealthy. You scum!

  7. Puckish Rogue 7

    As Aprils fools Day headlines go this isn’t very amusing

  8. Macro 8

    Only the Nats could pull such a sick joke.
    Aided and abetted by a Joke of a council. (Mind you I can see that the new mayor won’t be any better 🙁 )
    We all know what the outcome of this will be.
    Poor people kicked out of their homes which they have lived in for years. The homes will be pulled down and “posh” new houses will be built in their place for the deserving rich. This is called “Redevelopment”. Good name to cover a societal disaster.

    • TC 8.1

      Which has already happened in Glen Innes so TRC will be using the learnings from that going forward.

      • Macro 8.1.1

        I like the use of “going forward” TC. Nothing to do with TRC by any chance? 😉

        • tc 8.1.1.1

          GI had state housing land that now has private dwellings on it when they had a go at this pre election, it was messy all round. Unsure who made what outta that.

          This looks like a much slicker affair with the same end game taking on the learning from the last effort.

          • Macro 8.1.1.1.1

            Yes my thoughts on the matter entirely.
            Nats have little if any moral compass – just a matter of looking after the well to do is all they really care about.

  9. DH 9

    I’d question what ‘transferred’ actually means. They can’t literally transfer ownership of the houses because the Crown doesn’t own 100% of the company. Auckland Council owns 41% of the shares.

    Has to be at least $1.5 billion worth of property there. Are they selling these houses, leasing them, gifting them or what?

    • saveNZ 9.1

      Shocking. The public should demand answers and details. It is outrageous. And if the MSM ignore or spin it for the government – more nails in their coffins.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      Either way it will be a transfer of wealth from the people of NZ to private owners and the people of NZ will feel the hurt as they become further impoverished.

    • Ad 9.3

      Mostly selling.

  10. Puckish Rogue 10

    Labour should definitely make a big deal of this, its a vote winner

    • Bearded Git 10.1

      Agreed Puckish-a real issue for Little to get his teeth into.

      People are calling this privatisation by stealth. It looks like simply privatisation to me, not much stealth involved, but what can you expect with Double-Dipton at the helm?

    • Stuart Munro 10.2

      Yes indeed – a bill criminalising the theft of state assets, and recovering damages from the property of corrupt MPs should be high on Labour’s list of priorities.

    • Keith 11.1

      Wow that sounds really really neat, nearly as good as SERCO when they “officially” ran Mt Eden with all those shining exemplary reports before someone peeked behind the scenes.

  11. kieron 12

    Sounds like rents and property prices on waiheke, pushinh the poor out; what happened to the big cloud of pot smoke from the 1980’s?

  12. kieron 13

    Waiheke rates prop up auckland city and don’t come back to waiheke, anything done is for rich peoples profit, no one else

  13. Smilin 14

    The last act by a traitorous govt to destroy the welfare state

  14. Tautuhi 15

    Who are the shareholders of the Tamaki Redevelopment Company?

  15. Tautuhi 16

    The left do not have the ability to think logically since Roger Douglas grabbed them by the scruff of the neck in the 1980’s, they appear not to be able to critically analyse anything these days.

    They are certainly very weak in opposition these days.

  16. Tautuhi 17

    Glen Innes and Panmure will be a goldmine for private investors especially if they can steal the land off the taxpayers. Looks like another State Asset Ripoff for the benefit of private investors.

  17. Ad 18

    I think the new Tamaki houses should be sold to owner-occupiers only. Give kiwis a chance to own their own home.

  18. International Rescue 19

    I hope this is the beginning of the transfer of all state owned houses to the private/NGO sector. The Govt can then fund social housing, without needing to have so much capital tied up

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