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Dog whistling Housing Corp tenants

Written By: - Date published: 12:35 pm, October 25th, 2019 - 29 comments
Categories: Economy, housing, labour, national, phil twyford, poverty, same old national, Social issues, uncategorized - Tags: ,

Housing has not been a simple issue for the Government. Initial expectations were sky high and progress of Kiwibuild has been slow.

On the up side the five year bright line capital gain policy and the policy setting restrictions on overseas ownership have been working as intended and prices, at least in Auckland, have stabilised if not retreated.

And Housing Corp has been steadily adding to its stock after a period during the last Government when numbers were deliberately reduced.

The detail is in this post I wrote during the last election campaign:

This is the graph showing additions and disposals.  Disposals have outpaced additions for some time and the net change is negative.  I don’t know where [National Spokesperson Amy Adams] gets her figure of 2,000 more state houses a year [from].

And the basic problem with this debate? Since 2008 the population has grown 12.4%. To keep up with need as it was then there should be 77,600 state houses. We are going backwards at a rate of knots. And this is before the crisis of affordability has hit Auckland and other areas.  No wonder why homelessness is now so visible in a land that should be made of milk and honey.

Since the election of this Government things have turned around.

National’s response?  As transparent a case of bene bashing as Topham Guerin could conceive.  From Isaac Davison at the Herald:

The National Party will put an end to a “state house for life” if it gets into power next year.

It partly blames the Coalition Government’s halt to most tenancy reviews for the huge increase in the waiting list for public housing – now at more than 13,000 households.

Official reports, however, paint a different picture. They say expensive housing and ageing tenants are the main reasons that people are staying in state houses for longer.

The tenancy reviews, introduced five years ago, check whether an individual or family is earning too much to qualify for state support. They can lead to tenants being moved into the private rental market.

National social housing spokesman Simon O’Connor said the Government’s new exemptions for tenancy reviews were so broad that they were a “joke”.

“National will reinstate tenancy reviews and we won’t be accepting the exemptions either,” he said.

The dog whistle is strong on this one.  Bludging housing corp tenants living it up in cheap housing for long periods at the expense of the rest of us.

But of course the reality is different.

And the Herald reported the reality in this passage:

In a report for Twyford last year, the Ministry of Social Development confirmed state houses tenants were staying in their houses for longer – but not because they were avoiding tenancy reviews.

“This is due to a mix of flat incomes for public housing tenants, an ageing tenant population, differing incentives between accommodation support products, and rising unaffordability of housing in the private market,” the report said.

Tenancy reviews were not the main driver of exits from public housing, the report also said. Between January 2015 and 31 March 2018, just 5.5 per cent of exits came a result of a review. Furthermore, reviewing the tenancies of the households exempted by the Government was likely to find that they still needed their state house.

Of course National know they have nothing to lose.  Their landlord supporters expect nothing less, get they want the state to get out of the residential market so that rents can increase. And the poor know that National is not their friend.

But as said by Mahatma Ghandi a nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.  Clearly National does not aspire to greatness for our nation.  Just the attacking of the weak and dispossessed for political gain.

29 comments on “Dog whistling Housing Corp tenants ”

  1. indiana 1

    "But as said by Mahatma Ghandi a nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members. Clearly National does not aspire to greatness for our nation. Just the attacking of the weak and dispossessed for political gain."

    As observers are we allowed to determine who is the weakest number? Is it the single grandmother who has lived in a 4 bedroom state house for 50-60 years, but does not want to moved to a single bedroom apartment. Or is its the family of four that cannot be allocated a 4 bedroom home as there is an abundance of single bedroom state homes/apartments?

    [lprent: Perhaps you should prove that there is :-

    “…there is an abundance of single bedroom state homes/apartments?”

    The National government didn’t build any as far as I can see, and was actively looking at selling off those that they had. Certainly around where I live that was the case.

    As I happen to intensely dislike false assertions (especially ones that are framed as truisms) you are banned for 3 weeks to discourage a repeat (of course you can provide evidence to justify your assertion with some actual numbers).

    National had 9 years to put up some single bedroom homes/flats/apartments. As far as I am aware the number of those reduced. There is a massive shortage of one or two bedroom housing corp places. Typically those that are available are are vast distances from where someone has lived most of their life. Which is one of the main reasons that tenants will hang on to what they have rather than being kicked out.

    I think that you are a lazy dog-whistling lying troll, so I’ll do as National does – I will assume you are until you you prove that you are not. ]

    • Incognito 1.1

      As a commenter here, you are allowed to lay out your arguments and start a discussion thread. Or you could spray and walk away.

    • Well that is a question that has been asked by government that has narrowed assistance with housing. When National started screwing down the welfare state they were making people shift from their town to another far away if it was a single woman; to go from a two bedroom house to a one bedroom unit in the distant town, just uplifted from friends and known neighbourhood and services. The authorities would not be likely to have even considered her renting a room to someone to ensure that the spare room was being utilised.

      In fact one of the National harpies was incensed to find that state house tenants in South Auckland were renting a room to someone. It would never occur to such an unpretty pollie, that this was offering someone a place to live – perhaps a relative – and it was a useful thing to do for the boarder/tenant and the state. No they looked at it on a narrow monetary basis and because there was an edict against being helpful, the same as private landlords who don't have a duty to assist citizens with housing as the state does. Whatever the poor do to advance or help each other and themselves they will be condemned on some pretext.

      Similarly Metiria Turei was villified for taking in an extra renter to help her make ends meet while she studied hard to get the skills for a secure job suitable for a parent.

    • SPC 1.3

      There is probably a case for the government to buy one bedroom apartments/flats in areas where there are homeless low income families. Then move some tenants from family size state housing into these newly acquired smaller spaces.

    • Agora 1.4

      Re. MAHATMA GHANDI.. I travelled in India by train. In Benares I lived in a houseboat next to pyres burning human remains night and day and dogs scavenging the bones.

      I did not expect NZ Nationalists wouldd try to recreate the Raj in Auckland.

  2. Sabine 2

    so essentially National still has no mates and is still having a hard time moving on from John Key?

    National, no mates, no ideas, vote for us!

  3. Peter 3

    What it all really means? That the truth is irrelevant.

    It means the intellectually limited will be heartened and spread the message that the National Government is going to be tough and deal to losers.

  4. gsays 4

    A couple of observations, the landlord class isn't limited to National voters or MPs.

    The picture accompanying this post makes me think of two Harry Enfield characters: Loadsamoney and Waynetta Slob.

  5. …. ' The National Party will put an end to a “state house for life” if it gets into power next year ' ….

    The answer is simple.

    Keep them out of power.

    When we look at Germany, and Scandinavia, and we see that most of the populace are long term if not life tenants,… we see how archaic the ChiNational party really is.

    Quite appalling, really.

    So dreadfully out of touch with the developed world.

    So 19th century in their approach.

    So ,… Oliver Twist and Ebenezer Scrooge… you can almost smell the smog from their belching factory’s, in fact…

    What they really would prefer is endless lines queuing up for soup kitchens and even greater lines queuing up for a days exploitative and poorly paid work.

    A return to the 19th century ,- the glory days of subservience, hierarchy and the working class knowing their place and not trying to rise above their stations. Oh ,… and exorbitant profits to be made by industrialists and landlords.

    I find it a curious mix of bedfellows tolerated by the ChiNational party … at the one time exuding the far right wing neo con / hawkishness of the extremes of the American Republican party,… yet on the other hand being so far embedded up communist China's arse regards crony business deals ( complete with an ex Chinese spy trainer as one of their MP's ) and free trade deals with the same that all you can really see of them is their toenails hanging out China's rear orifice…

    • John Clover 5.1

      I definitely think that state housed folk should not be permitted to occupy multi bedroom houses at the expense of multi children families.

      However also in state house areas the state should build an range of properties so that single people left by their families are housed in maximum two bedroom properties so they can have family visit them.

      The case of the woman in a four bedroom house was a disgraceful example of inept housing policy by the department.

      Remember that state house tenants are being subsidised by all of us living in the private sector. Of course those who either are depriving themselve to pay a huge rent privately or like me in earlier times are/were able to buy/build for themselves might not agree. 🙂

      • WILD KATIPO 5.1.1

        No problems with a single or couple being relocated to a two bedroomed dwelling,… however, one must juxtapose the costs on a society of family's living on the street and the inherent anger and bitterness among the young that can lead to social disorder ie : theft, vandalism, violence etc. Do we really want to end up like other country's whereby poverty is the breeding grounds for violent social unrest?

        Is the price of providing basic housing not worth it?

        And heres another thing, – for the last 9 years we have seen this problem of state housing getting worse and worse. Driven mainly by a rapacious National govt hell bent on selling off those remaining state houses to private interests while at the same time allowing offshore interests to ramp up housing prices to the point where there was and still is a housing crisis.

        All in the name of neo liberal private enterprise.

        Meanwhile, children died in preventable third world type diseases in moldy, cold , dilapidated state houses according to our own medical reports.

        And lets not forget that those state houses were originally built to house the family's of those workers who served the interests of the state in large work projects, – now they serve the interests of the business elites more often than not.

        So.

        It seems if you or I want service, we need to house those workers and their familys somewhere.

        Or else take your own trash to the dump,- and pay the fees and like or lump the inconvenience when doing so.

  6. Barfly 6

    The National party …home of evil bastards

  7. Stuart Munro. 7

    Housing still has a long way to go – and while the government maintains a policy of net migration in the order of 50k pa, achievements of the order of 2.7 k homes are readily overlooked.

    Evidently that 50k inward migration target is such a massive sacred cow that New Zealanders are to end up on the streets in service of it.

    • Don't worry , Stuart,- all their trying to do is replace the over 650,000 New Zealanders who moved permanently to Australia just after Ruth Richardson's Employment Contracts Act 1991 was passed…

      With cheap, foreign ,non unionized labour.

      And if that means New Zealanders and immigrants get to sleep on a park bench? – somehow they figure its all been worth it for their own little comfort zones and cozy retirements,- not to mention the glorious opportunity’s for future investments with great returns for them and their offspring…

      As for the rest of us in struggle street…

      Have they even heard it exists???

  8. Craig H 8

    I never really understood the problem since long term State House tenants either qualify for income related rent, in which case they qualify for the house, or they don't, in which case they pay market rent and HNZ can use that income to build another house. It's a self-correcting situation.

    • John Clover 8.1

      It should be Craig but the trouble is the inflexibility of state department's thinking. But I doubt if a private "department" would work any better.

      Isn't the problem of the polies/voters wanting a dividend from a trading dept? So housing department's loose any profits..

      • Craig H 8.1.1

        A trading dividend would incentivise keeping stable tenants at market rents, but I agree that the correct use of the money made is maintenance of existing stock and building new houses.

  9. Peter Martin 9

    I agree with the sentiment…but not the quote…

    'It was American writer and novelist Pearl Buck (1892-1973), best known for her novel, The Good Earth (winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1932), and recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature that wrote: “Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.”'

  10. Lettuce 10

    "I can personally guarantee that every New Zealand family will have a section of pavement to sleep on when I'm Prime Minister."

    Simon Bridges

    National – 'Delivering for our donors'

  11. michelle 11

    National sold 2 thousand state houses they sold land as well they sold SHA areas to the chinese airline company and they sold to developers and they also sold to some so – called community housing providers. National did this so they don't have to provide this much needed service. Then for 9 years we herd them say we don't have a housing crisis. Now they are at it again after selling many of our assets paid for with our taxes they are selling us down the tiolet.

  12. John Clover 12

    I see part of the problem as with our good nature we are accepting refugees and housing them ahead of kiwi citizens. We should look after our own ahead of inviting people from overseas.

    • Incognito 12.1

      Well, John, since you appear to be strong with facts, why don’t you give us some numbers to go on? For example, how many refugees does NZ let into the country annually?

  13. John Clover 13

    I do not think I am strong on facts but I believe the total in past years has been 750 pa and that is going up to 1500 pa

  14. John Clover 14

    Incognito

    Plese explain to somebody not as worldly as you what 'dog whisling' means 🙂

    • Incognito 14.1

      It’s in the title of the OP so rather odd that you have to ask. Have you tried using a search engine to edify yourself?

  15. John Clover 15

    Yes I did and I am not sure I understand it any better.

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