Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, May 24th, 2016 - 51 comments
Categories: making shit up, national, same old national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:
Nick Smith is on a roll. Hard on the heels of his success in delivering 0.75% of the new homes he promised for Auckland he has declared that the surge in the housing crisis is a figment of our imagination. Just as well he has failed so spectacularly to solve a problem that apparently is not getting worse.
Housing Minister Nick Smith is calling the recent surge in homelessness a figment of people’s imagination.
The minister refuses to call New Zealand’s housing problems a crisis and says anyone suggesting the issue of people living in cars popped up overnight is dreaming.
“The idea that that suddenly happened in May 2016 is a figment of some people’s imagination.”
“These are long-term challenges.”
The comment is of course disingenuous. A housing problem has existed for years. But it is now well and truly a crisis and is getting far worse. It is wrong to suggest otherwise.
Government policies are contributing to the crisis. One recent example involves a hard line policy by Housing Corporation over the discovery of methamphetamine. This has caused one woman to lose her home, even though it is not known when the contamination occurred, and the evidence may point to one time use of mephamphetamine in the premises by person or persons unknown.
The absurdity is that she is now staying in a motel with her family. She is in debt to the tune of $60,000 to WINZ for Motel costs and by the time she serves her 12 month Housing Corp ban the cost will be over $100,000. Barring extremely good fortune she will never pay it back.
As Russell Brown said, this is crazy.
And what should a Government do? Well building a few houses would be a good start.
As pointed out by Shamubeel Eaqub using the accommodation supplement to fund interest on crown borrowing could raise a lot of money, enough to build lots and lots of houses. But clearly the Government is not interested in solving the problem, lest landlords be affected or spiraling housing costs are slowed.