John Key, the State house tenant turned merchant banker whose ascension to the top job depended heavily on his ordinary Kiwi turned good persona, is overseeing the sale of the state house that he has relied on so heavily for political advantage. The circle is now complete.
The sale will be part of a planned mass divestment by Housing Corp of thousands of homes in the Christchurch area to social housing providers. The divestment is essentially an acknowledgement that well intentioned community groups can do a better job of providing housing for poor people than the politicians and senior managers currently in control in this country. Up to 2,500 houses in the Christchurch North area are tagged for divestment.
But some of the groups are not happy with the proposal and have this rather radical idea that the Government should be helping the homeless, just like it has successfully done since the time of the first Labour Government. Those were the days …
… Christchurch Methodist Mission executive director Jill Hawkey ruled her organisation out of taking on any properties.
“The Methodist Church, which the Methodist Mission is part of has joined with Salvation Army and both of us have said we don’t actually agree with the Government’s policy of transferring state houses into the control of community housing providers in this way.”
Hawkey said it was the Government’s responsibility to provide housing to those that struggled to enter the market.
Korowai Youth Well-Being Trust chairperson and director of 298 Youth Health Dr Sue Bagshaw shared Hawkey’s view.
“This is complete avoidance of their responsibility to provide for a human right of providing houses for those that can’t afford it themselves.
“I think it’s . . . making community groups that have no money or resources in the first place be responsible for doing something they don’t have the resources to provide.”
The sell off will not create one new house and will create churn and disruption for tenants. But at least the next time Key talks about his state house days he can be asked why he is removing the possibility of another young person to have a decent roof over his head so he can get a decent education and then become Prime Minister.
Shame on you John Key, shame on you.