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Another housing policy screwup?

Written By: - Date published: 1:39 pm, January 22nd, 2016 - 38 comments
Categories: housing, national, paula bennett, welfare - Tags: , , , ,

This policy proposal from Paula Bennett has had a fair bit of attention:

Govt may give state tenants cash to move to regions

The government is looking at cash incentives to get Auckland’s state housing tenants to move to the regions.

The offer would include covering relocation costs as well as a one-off incentive payment.

Ms Bennett said there were empty houses in other parts of New Zealand. …

This is sold as a voluntary option, which seems like a choice could work well for some people. But in fact there is coercion, if you decline to move you may go the bottom of the Auckland list. At that point we’re in to typical Nat nasty social engineering.

There hasn’t been much support for the proposal. And there’s a pretty fundamental problem with it, outlined here:

Lack of state houses down south may hamper Government’s plans

A lack of surplus state houses could stop the South from being part of a plan to get Aucklanders languishing on waiting lists to leave the city.

The proposed Government policy comes as Housing New Zealand data released to the Otago Daily Times showed there were only 22 spare “ready to let” state houses in Otago and Southland.

Ministry of Social Development data showed, as of September last year, there were 60 people on the waiting list for Housing New Zealand properties in Dunedin.

Asked whether the lack of surplus houses could prevent Southland and Otago from being part of the policy, Ms Bennett said: “We are currently working through the details and no decisions have been made about how much applicants could receive or which areas will be the best fit.”

Has anyone checked the other regions? Did Bennett, before floating this proposal? Or is this another housing policy screwup like Nick Smiths acres of vacant Auckland land…

38 comments on “Another housing policy screwup? ”

  1. dv 1

    Waitaki, (Oamaru one target) has 29 jobs on Trademe, and most hi level.

  2. Sabine 2

    OH that one again, was that not last tried to get people move to Christchurch to participate in the rebuild? How did that go?

    http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/international/2014/05/09/248683.htm
    http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/a-z-benefits/3k-to-christchurch.html

    i can find one article relating to 50! that have taken up the offer to relocate to CHCH under the WINZ / Pulls’her Bennefitt scheme.

    How can re-locating people to a region where they have no family, friends, social networks and job prospects be helpful to them?

    And what will happen to these people if they can’t find work there, last I checked being on a State Housing list does not mean being unemployed, it means that one can’t find a house on the private market, or can’t afford a house on the private market.

    Would it not be better if the currently empty State Houses would be filled with people?

    Oh yeah, i forgot, this is not about giving people a decent place to live so that they may thrive, no this is to get pesky tenants out of state housing so it is easier to sell it of – cause Profit?
    A case of out of sight out of mind, and not expecting anything from this government, i fear for the people this current National led Government is gonna dump on regions that have their own issues and receive little to no help form the current National led Government.

    • Gangnam Style 2.1

      She said something like ‘theres Tongans in Upper hutt, so the Tongans can go there’ or some such ignorance.

  3. shorts 3

    I wonder how successful the 3K to move to Christchurch scheme from a couple of years back went? Given this is very similar

    Probably badly as its not being used as the justification to this a slightly different version of the plan – or maybe brilliantly but no one bothered to take any measurements of the scheme cause gut instinct is usually enough

    its going to be a long year for those on the govt target list

    • NZJester 3.1

      Comparing it to the 3K to Christchurch is like comparing apples to oranges.
      That 3K to Christchurch at least had a small amount of merit as Jobs available there had grown in the construction industry and people had been willing to take the offer.
      This current one is basically moving people to other areas with no increase in job opportunities and in some cases maybe less.

    • Sabine 3.2

      i found only this article relating to a number that took up the offer.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/10250802/Christchurch-3000-job-incentive-nets-50

      however i could find nothing about how these guys feared long term, and how many are still in CHCH or have relocated back to whanau and are back on the dole due to lack of job.

  4. Tc 5

    Redneck radio rantland fodder. Natz dont give a F about the practical aspects just get some diversionary dog whisles going about state housing bludgers.

    This 3rd term is an open assault on the vulnerable.

  5. Penny Bright 6

    Seen this?

    Press Release: Sue Henry (Housing Lobby):

    “Is Government proposing to pay off State tenants to be ‘economically cleansed’ from their communities? ”
    ____________________________________________________________________________

    “In October 2011, State Housing tenants were told on nationwide television, by the Minister for Housing, that no decision had been made for existing State House tenants to be compulsorily forced out of their homes,” says Sue Henry, Spokesperson for The Housing Lobby.

    http://auckland.scoop.co.nz/2011/10/the-nation-phil-heatley/

    “..Current tenants who have been in state housing when we came into government, we’re not moving those on yet in any compulsory way; we may not, we haven’t made a decision. ..”

    “We’re now into the fifth year, where the most vulnerable State Housing tenants have been left in limbo, wondering when the axe is going to fall, causing immense pressure and stress.”

    “This economic cleansing program has absolutely nothing to do with the ‘racial profiling’ which is being currently used as a red herring, to describe why these tenants are being effectively forcibly evicted, despite the assurances from the Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, who states that this proposal will be voluntary. ”

    “The purpose of this new proposal is to shift Auckland State Housing tenants out of Auckland.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11577072

    “The very first tenants targeted in the TAMAKI PILOT PROJECT (soon to be rolled out nation-wide) were, AND STILL ARE, the elderly, the sick, the disabled, terminally ill, widows and the poor.”

    “Many of those who have managed to survive (many haven’t – they are deceased), have become displaced or transient, effectively uprooted and estranged from their once closely net-worked communities.”

    “All the properties which once housed these people have been and still are being TRANSFERRED TO PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT COMPANIES FOR SPECULATIVE GAIN, AND PRIVATE PROFIT.”

    “What is also despicable is while the public are being told that there is an Auckland housing shortage, for a number of years a number of these State Housing properties have stood empty.”

    “These State Housing properties have and still are being land-banked, deliberately ratcheting up property values, generating lucrative
    tax-payer subsidised profits for property development companies and the real estate sector. ”

    “No responsible Government should ever subject its most vulnerable citizens to this type of abuse.”

    “We want the transfer of State Housing stock and land to cease forthwith.”

    “We want central government to retain the function of providing State Housing and for it not to be privatised by transferring this role to PRIVATE social housing providers.”

    Sue Henry
    Spokesperson for the Housing Lobby.

    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    Forwarded in the public interest by Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.
    WHISTLE-BLOWER!

    Who supports directly-affected State tenants, particularly in Glenn Innes – who are
    fighting the transfer of 2,800 Housing NZ properties to the Tamaki Redevelopment Company.

    The transfer of 2,800 Housing NZ properties to the Tamaki Redevelopment Company is supported by Child Poverty Action Group Co-Convenor Alan Johnson, who works for the, in my view, multi-national corporate NGO – the Salvation Army.

    (How do I know? Alan Johnson told me to my face.)

    STATE housing is PUBLIC.
    SOCIAL housing is PRIVATE.

    Beware the privatisation of State Housing via its transfer to ‘social’ housing!
    Follow the dollar …. who benefit$?

  6. Scott M 7

    How can that bitch – who did so well from her state assistance – now foist this sort of policy on those behind her?

    • cogito 7.1

      Because she can, and because no-one is stopping her.

      Remember the guy who stood in front of the tanks at Tien An Men square? Time for kiwis to start standing firm.

    • Sabine 7.2

      Because she is still receiving a rather attractive state assistance from the taxpayer to do this. She is after all a National MP, and they do have no issues when state assistance goes to them, they only have an issue when state assistance goes to ‘others’.

      Did this women actually ever worked in the private world of the free market?

    • Wensleydale 7.3

      Because she’s the female Iain Duncan Smith. Someone’s got to wield the bludgeon and the hatchet, and dear Paula’s ever so keen to impress her new friends in the blue corner with her boundless enthusiasm and devotion to the cause.

  7. hoom 8

    Didn’t they previously threaten to cut off benefits for people who failed to move out of rural areas where there were no jobs available?

    1: Coax beneficiaries to move to small towns
    2: Cut the benefit because of falure to get a job
    3: ???
    4: Profit!!!

  8. millsy 9

    In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s there was a rise in ‘gated communities’, where the rich would pretty much lock themselves away from everyone else.

    Now the elites are learning that house prices do the job just as well. Keep out the riff raff out without having to muck round with gates and fences.

    This is another step to Auckland becoming the world’s largest gated community.

    In saying that, if this leads to less homelessness and poverty, then its not really a bad idea. A lot of those on the list, if having to choose between living in a car in Henderson or a fresh start in Huntly with a house tomorrow, they would take the latter. Well most of them anyway.

    Devil is in the details, of course.

    • sabine 9.1

      Its a long commute from Huntly to AKL or Hamilton for a job.

      Just because you ‘could’ rent an affordable house in Huntly, does not mean you ‘can’ afford the house in Huntly without a job. And how cheap is the House in Huntly once you factor in transport to go to a job.

      There are a few people that would leave Auckland in a heartbeat could they find another job elsewhere. And no not everyone can work IT or online, and not everyone knows how to milk a cow. So no, not everyone can move out of town, leave their families behind, drop the job – even at minimum wage – to go live in the Province on the dole.

      • Reddelusion 9.1.1

        Nor does every one have to leave, it’s simply one tool in the tool box and thinking outside the circle As per the NZH editorial. Some times you need to just look at the policy on its merits, is it good or bad instead of going straight to default mechanism based on who put up the policy

    • Jones 9.2

      They’re going to build a wall around Auckland…

  9. linda 10

    its a dumping ground policy next they will propose special camps for those deemed surplus to requirement i honestly feel natz are covering up that the economy is in real trouble the books are a mess this is stuff of desperation ship the poor off to economic dead zones because they need sell assets to keep the ship afloat

    • cogito 10.1

      “special camps for those deemed surplus to requirement”

      Like the ones Key’s mother was lucky enough to escape from…. thanks to Britain and NZ.

  10. maui 11

    From another stuff article:

    She named Lower Hutt, Porirua, Wanganui, Gisborne and New Plymouth as potential relocation areas, after earlier singling out Oamaru and Ashburton in the South Island.

    I know of three state housing areas in the hutt valley that have been demolished since National have been in power. So much for Lower Hutt then.. Porirua probably not fairing much better.

    • Irascible 11.1

      She has put over 250 State Houses on the market in Wanganui at really knock down prices. The rationale was that there was an oversupply of State Houses in the city.

  11. sabine 12

    There are currently no state houses available to rent in Ashburton or Oamaru, Housing New Zealand says

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/294649/houses-out-of-action-for-pay-to-move-plans

  12. Mosa 13

    TRUTH ALERT. This policy is just another DonKey diversion to be seen doing something and doing nothing. As an ex Aucklander in Dunedin I can tell you that there are very few state houses even before the refugees arrive and very few jobs that pay a living wage in a recent survey Dunedin ranked ahead of the West coast as the most poorly paid region in the South Island . Its moving the problem where no one will notice or care .

  13. Craig H 15

    Isn’t Marlborough the worst-paid region in NZ? (just to add a South Island location to the mix of poorly-paid areas)

    On topic, I’m in favour of the general concept of assisting with purely voluntary relocation for beneficiaries to help them into a job, especially for known labour shortages (like the shortage lists maintained by Immigration NZ). Likewise for the state houses if someone actually wants to move, but I don’t think it’s a policy that will do much because I don’t think there will be many who qualify for state housing who also want to move regions.

    I’m always concerned that the relocations will not be purely voluntary, however, as verbal pressure may be placed on the beneficiary or potential state house tenant by WINZ.

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