- 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: simon o'connor, topham guerin
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.