Written By: - Date published: 9:31 am, May 20th, 2016 - 49 comments
Categories: benefits, national, paula bennett, poverty, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, welfare - Tags: homelessness, housing crisis
To repeat something that Anthony Robins commented on John Campbell really is a national treasure. His journalism is of the simple kind, find an event that impacts on ordinary kiwis, talk to them, get them to say how an issue is impacting on them.
The reporting is stripped of left wing or right wing analysis and neatly sidesteps the spin and propaganda that emanates from the Government every day. He just says it the way it is. He reports on what is actually happening. And his reporting is so much more powerful because of this.
Yesterday two stories in a gentle caring way absolutely nailed how and why homelessness is such an important political issue. And why it is disgusting and appalling is that in the land of milk and honey and the land where Micky Savage and the first Labour Government put in place so many measures to improve ordinary Kiwis lives there are suddenly so many people without even a roof over their heads.
The first story was a simple tale about the sale of a Queenstown home owned by Housing Corporation. Queenstown’s issues are comparable to Auckland’s. Too few houses and too many ordinary workers competing with the tourist wave.
The story highlighted this Government’s approach to statistics gathering. Housing Corporation claimed to have only have two people on its waiting list even though social housing providers say there are more than 300 people looking for social housing in the area. And it is clear that Queenstown has a crisis as ordinary workers find they cannot afford to live in the area where they work and people are forced to live in overcrowded houses while paying an exorbident.
But Housing Corporation made a profit. A home they bought for $265,000 13 years ago sold for $
400,000665,500. This is an extraordinarily good business model. As long as you park any desire to make sure that all Kiwis have a roof over their heads.
The second story relates to a leak of a briefing to the Housing Ministers by some civic minded public servant who has a heart and a soul. They wanted New Zealand to know that the public service has not let us down and that they warned this Government that it’s policies were heartless, destructive and inhumane. I cannot do better than to let Radio New Zealand describe the situation.
Officials from the Ministry of Social Development told the Social Housing Minister a year ago that the emergency housing system was incoherent, unfair and unaccountable.
The scathing remarks come in a review obtained by Checkpoint, delivered to the Minister, Paula Bennett, last June.
It also recommends she accept that the system is failing those who need it, and says the funding system is ad-hoc.
A separate document reveals just eight of more than 60 social housing providers were dedicated providers, and the rest were hotels, motels and campgrounds.
Get that? The vast majority of “social housing providers” are hotels, motels and campgrounds. One of them is Western Park Village in Ranui West Auckland. The owners have perfected a business model that involves housing poor people in very basic conditions and then profiting from the Accommodation supplement. Read this article if you want to be understand the type of care that is being provided and wonder why Paula has continued with National’s policy’s for so long when clearly it does not work.
Paula’s recent appearance on Morning Report where she conceded that National’s 3,000 new beds were actually existing beds and the funding will stop them from disappearing showed how bereft of commitment this Government is. Things are that bad that Te Puea Marae in Mangere is offering sanctuary to the homeless. Local Iwi are doing something this Government seems incapable of doing.