In the middle of a housing crisis Housing Corp is selling state houses

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: ,

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.

Here goes:

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.

49 comments on “In the middle of a housing crisis Housing Corp is selling state houses”

  1. vto 1

    It is also paying dividends to the government instead of investing that back into more housing.

    shameful

    bill english is a sorry excuse for a man… pathetic, cowardly, mean

  2. dukeofurl 2

    Some one had checked the ‘wayback machine’ and found the full detail of selling state houses to ‘providers’ was only added after the election.

    Which party publishes its election housing policy details a few days after the votes have been cast ?

    • left for dead 2.1

      Found down the back of the headboard, no point releasing adverse policy before an election, the people will figure it out. 👿

  3. Anne 3

    But Housing Corporation made a profit. A home they bought for $265,000 13 years ago sold for $400,000.

    If my memory serves me correctly it was sold yesterday for $660,000 mickysavage.

    Edit: exact price “$665,000 and a half.”

    [Right you are. I meant to say that it made a profit of $400,000. Now corrected – MS]

  4. Venezia 4

    By anyone’s standards this government is a farce. Why do NZers accept such ineptitude and lack of leadership? How have we got into such a mess? National & their supporters have turned meanness, mendacity and greed as virtues in their political schemes.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Why do NZers accept such ineptitude and lack of leadership?

      It’s not ineptitude. National really are doing this on purpose. They’re out to destroy the state and it’s support for people because then the rich can lower wages while increasing profits.

      • Macro 4.1.1

        National really are doing this on purpose. They’re out to destroy the state and it’s support for people because then the rich can lower wages while increasing profits.

        Quoted for Truth
        Many sheeple however will not understand this, until it is too late. All they see is the “smiling image” of a bloke they would like to have a beer with.

        You can have the most despicable and xenophobic “MInister” of Immigration in the world living down the road and not know or even understand who he is or what he represents – and even vote for him!

        How we can ever have a working democratic system when many people are so disconnected from reality I do not know.

      • Kevin 4.1.2

        +100 Draco

        This whole government is an ideological driven organisation. They make the right noises to the voters but behind closed doors its drive the neo-liberal agenda as hard and as fast as possible.

        • srylands 4.1.2.1

          I assure you it is not an ideologically driven government. It is a government driven by evidence of what works in practice. In social policy that is about identifying measures that can improve well being of those in need. There is no tolerance for ideology driven policy.

          It is for this reason that the Government is determined to maintain evidence based strong social policies and an efficient welfare system built around an investment approach. That includes housing policy.

          If you knew nothing about New Zealand, reading the comments on this post would have you think that New Zealand is a hell hole. Of course it is not. Most people are prosperous. When I head down town tonight the eating and drinking establishments will be heaving with happy people. these are not the 1 percenters but ordinary New Zealanders.

          Yes there is a problem with housing. It is a problem of poor planning policies by local government and an unwillingness of central government to fix that.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.1.1

            It is for this reason that the Government is determined to maintain evidence based strong social policies and an efficient welfare system built around an investment approach.

            So why are they doing the exact opposite?

            Oh, that’s right, because they’re ideological fuckwits – just like you.

            All the evidence of the last 5000 years shows that capitalism simply does not work.

          • Mike Bond 4.1.2.1.2

            So good to see a comment like this. I often think what people from other countries must think of New Zealand when you see these headlines of “poverty”, “hardship”,”corruption” etc etc. After all, the majority of Kiwis are happy as you say. Unfortunately we do have some that are so fill with the “entitlement syndrome” and they are the vocal ones that the MSM will pimp and put on TV and front pages of the news papers. Socialism has never worked because someone has to pay for it!

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.1.2.1

              Socialism has never worked because someone has to pay for it!

              And another person who’s ignoring history and reality to hold onto their ideological delusions.

              Society did better under even the limited socialism after WWII than in any of the times of hard capitalism. Hard capitalism always brings about poverty, depression and finally collapse.

              The people who pay for capitalism are the poor.

              • Reddelusion

                I will just answer with Venezuela m, the last socialist succes story. Socialism is immensely fair it ensures every one is poor as this is how the elites hold power, rather than the 1pc as you so fondly quote, Who is the richest Venezulean, surprise surprise, Chavezes daughter, while the rest of the country can’t even by bread or toilet paper as the socialist Ponzi scheme fell over with no more money or resources to expropriate to fund the socialist dream

                • joe90

                  Who is the richest Venezulean, surprise surprise, Chavezes daughter,

                  Other than an unsubstantiated claim I’ve noted over on another thread, have you any proof or are you lying?.

                • mauī

                  Your economy would be screwed too if you were selling oil at under $50 a barrel and it made up over 90% of your exports. But don’t let facts get in the way of your delusion.

                • Ch-ch Chiquita

                  Or you could look at Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany for example and see how their democratic socialism has failed. Oh wait….

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Venezuela’s problem is the attacks by the capitalists. Their own home-grown psychopaths helped by the US.

                  The Venezuelan government, as soon as there was a shortage of toilet paper, should immediately built a factory to produce it from their nations resources and sold it at cost price.

                  Do that and the capitalists attacks wouldn’t work.

                • gnomician

                  Sod off or consider growing a brain cell, even just one. And ffs take a course in English as a first language. Are you not even slightly embarassed by your public displays of idiocy? But of course you don’t even realise what a fool you are.

              • Reddelusion

                NZ is far from hard capitalism Draco, stop the bs’

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Oh, it’s most definitely hard capitalism and has been since the neo-liberal revolution of the 4th Labour government. That’s why we’re seeing increasing poverty while a few people get massively and the real economy stagnates.

                • Stuart Munro

                  People sleeping and dying on the streets not right enough for you? You need full-blown totalitarian – Putin’s your man, God help you.

                • Paul

                  Another defender of international capital against the poor and vulnerable citizens of New Zealand.
                  Cruel.
                  Selfish.
                  Greedy.
                  John Key’s New Zealand and his cultish followers.

              • Mike Bond

                And who pays for socialism?

              • Anno1701

                “And another person who’s ignoring history and reality to hold onto their ideological delusions.”

                “another person who has heard someone they consider smarter than them say something they think sounds pithy,so they parrot it it ad nauseum ”

                FIFY 🙂

              • Mosa

                Well put Draco.

          • framu 4.1.2.1.3

            “When I head down town tonight the eating and drinking establishments will be heaving with happy people.”

            never mind that its not hard to go down town and see the streets littered with agrressive anti social drunks – in fact its a massive social harm issue that costs the country untold $$

            i do love it when you so effortlessly sink your own dinghy

            • Treetop 4.1.2.1.3.1

              Were $$$ not wasted on the drunk and disorderly and put into housing where some real benefit would be achieved, the country would not have people sleeping in cars and garages.

      • AmaKiwi 4.1.3

        Draco +1

        This National government’s goal has always been to reduce the size of the state to an absolute minimum.

      • Murray Simmonds 4.1.4

        George Monbiot’s new book:
        “HOW DID WE GET INTO THIS MESS?”
        I just bought my e-copy this morning. From a quick browse, it’s EXCELLENT.
        Highly recommended.

        p.s. It was reviewed on “Nine to Noon” this morning. Unfortunately, the reviewer was more interested in discussing its literary qualities than its political content. However, it was positive review, nevertheless.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.4.1

          I like this bit in the intro:

          In reality, the free market is a political construction, that often has to be imposed by violence, such as Suharto’s massacres in Indonesia, Pinochet’s coup in Chile and the suppression of protests against structural adjustment and austerity all over the world.

          Simple, powerful and true.

        • Paul 4.1.4.2

          Reading it atm – a brilliant read.

  5. Smilin 5

    The appalling thing about all this is the lies by Smith and Wesson, I mean Key
    The blatant agenda to get rid of or reorganise state housing to the private sector is so corrupt that we as NZ are losing our moral compass
    This is not the UK Key, we are different and if you cant see that then leave
    Why do we have to follow a failed economics system that is ruining this country ?
    Key : “I think one day I would like to run a small country ”
    Since when did democracy accommodate the personal desires of one over the many

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Why do we have to follow a failed economics system that is ruining this country ?

      Because it’s making a few rich people richer. That is the entire justification of the last three decades of neo-liberalism.

    • Mary Hall 5.2

      Your last sentence is Spot On.
      Even if you look at what many of the National MP’s say and do, it is directed to please the man at the top. It is quite weird.

  6. Olwyn 6

    National under Key has done pretty much everything that scared people off Brash. They are not likely to meaningfully address the housing issue, since their mission seems to be to dismantle the welfare state, and not replace it with anything at all reassuring to those at the sharp end. The heartrending stories appearing in the media are just the tip of the iceberg – those living in garages do not borrow for motel rooms, and youngish “middle-class” families who have lost their rental accommodation, and are living four or five in a parental basement, are too embarrassed to make a squeak.

    To get a context, you often have to stumble across things by chance, as they are not trumpeted. Firstly, there is the chasm between wages and housing costs. This is generally bridged by the accommodation supplement – the landlord’s welfare cheque – but you are not allowed this supplement if you have more than $8,200 in the bank (for a single person, it may be more for a family). Handily, this is just enough to bury you, and it is something I learned of when a friend of mine was dying. Since you need quite high wages to pay Auckland rents without recourse to the supplement , this means that many renters with some savings are forced to slowly destitute themselves while their landlords continue to prosper.

    Add to this the push to get people out of state houses once they are able to pay market rent, bearing in mind that the precariousness of employment means that this ability will often be temporary. Add to this the transformation of legal aid into an interest-bearing loan scheme, which pours people out of jail into a low-wage economy with the weight of debt around their neck. And then the gouging of people seeking temporary shelter while actually being in need of permanent homes, that is mentioned in the post. Not to mention the obstacle course involved in getting on a benefit at all. And there are no doubt still more shards of cruelty and spite that one only hears of when one is forced to encounter them.

    Key has achieved these things by persuading much of the middle class to side with the elites against the workers and the poor, and reassuring them that the latter are not being treated too badly, as is shown in the “they should go down to WINZ” comment. It is a centre-right leader’s job to push the importance of his supporters’ interests within the context of a whole social economy. It is not his job to crush a social group and share the spoils with his friends – that is colonisation, not leadership.

  7. Wensleydale 7

    I guess Housing NZ feel that if they can make a $400,000 profit, while desperate families fight each other for the scraps like mangy dogs, then the market has spoken. You can die in a gutter, just so long as I end up with another fistful of cash. Whoever made that decision needs to be named and shamed, and I know Harcourts are real estate agents, and therefore rapacious brigands almost by default, but even you people must have trouble sleeping at night when you’re complicit in this sort of amoral profiteering.

    This makes me almost physically ill.

  8. Keith 8

    Bennett thought she could spin a yarn about 3000 extra beds and that the reality that they already existed but were doomed for lack of funding would not be uncovered. Sly and very dishonest.

    Worse though is her acceptance that a “bed” is even acceptable. All she cares about is reelection.

  9. Jack Ramaka 9

    The Government are stripping NZ Housing stocks to pay the interest on their offshore borrowings.

    They don’t give a rats anus about the poor who can not fend for themselves, JK is an extreme hypocrite having been brought up in a State House, he shows zero compassion towards fellow human beings.

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