It seems that the strip mining of Housing Corporation so that the Government could declare a surplus is reaching its logical conclusion. Treasury is forecasting Housing Corp to be out of money by next February.
From the Herald:
The Government’s state housing agency is set to run out of money by February, ministers have been warned.
Housing New Zealand has also told Finance Minister Bill English that it will have no cash for developments or to maintain houses past 2017/18.
That has prompted Labour’s housing spokesman Phil Twyford to accuse the Government of running the housing corporation into the ground.
“English has taken Housing New Zealand to the brink of financial ruin while at the same time publicly musing about getting it to build 30,000 extra state houses,” Twyford said.
In response, English told TVNZ that Government would have to stump up more money for HNZ. He revealed this week that HNZ would build 30,000 more houses over the next 10 years.
Clearly the selling of houses and the drawing of dividends from the State’s housing provider at a time of crisis was not a particularly good thing to do. Just like Solid Energy it looks like National is running the Housing Corporation into the ground.
This may present an opportunity for the Government to accelerate its divestment of social housing. But they really need to wear this. Clearly their handling of the housing issue has been abysmal.