Ahh remember this?
John Key: Homeless don’t want help
The Government has this week sent its flying squads into Auckland to battle the hidden homeless crisis, but says those living in cars simply don’t want help.
The squads were formed after The Nation revealed a number of people with full-time jobs were sleeping in cars because they couldn’t afford housing in Auckland.
Prime Minister John Key says the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) teamed up with the Salvation Army and other non-Government organisations and hit the streets. ….
The Sallies quickly responded, PM’s homeless remarks untrue – Sallies, they weren’t knocking on car doors and Key’s lie was damaging their ability to help the homeless. Now it seems that the MSD weren’t “out there” either:
Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett has admitted the Ministry of Social Development didn’t knock on car windows as part of its flying squad for homelessness, despite the Prime Minister saying they did.
Nothing that Key said was true – especially the implication that the homeless don’t want help.
When lies become policy they become damn lies. The ridiculous Nick Smith promised 500ha of Auckland land for housing, and spectacularly failed to deliver:
Housing Minister Nick Smith falls short on Crown land promise
Housing Minister Nick Smith has so far only managed to secure 25ha of spare Crown land for housing in Auckland after promising to deliver 500ha in last year’s Budget.
Smith spent his budgeted $52m on a mere 13ha of land. An utter failure.
But Nick Smith is at it again, trying to lie with statistics:
Housing affordability in Auckland better than in 2008, says Nick Smith
Housing affordability is no worse in Auckland than in 2008, Housing Minister Nick Smith says.
Dr Smith pointed to home affordability data from Massey University while appearing before a Parliamentary select committee today. …
We’ve thrashed this out here before. The 2008 figure that Smith is citing is unreliable (due to the effects of the emerging GFC), and the “current” figure is not current (the market has worsened). The author of the study Smith is citing says he is wrong:
Affordability in Auckland improved slightly over the last three quarters, certainly not over the three terms National has been in government. He may be referring to the govt controls and IRD and RB LVR restrictions that have had the impact indicated in the last 3 quarters but his statement is wrong, misguided, political rhetoric, who knows?
The trouble with the “affordability” statistic is that it is (mostly) based on repayments vs interest rates. It takes no account of the risk (how screwed you are when interest rates go up), and saving the initial deposit required is increasingly impossible anyway. Here’s Greg Ninness at Interest.co.nz:
Affordability has worsened in Auckland
In Auckland, the amount of money typical first home buyers would need to set aside for mortgage payments on a lower quartile-priced home has risen from 48.8% in April 2008 to 50.5% in April 2016. So affordability has worsened in Auckland over the last eight years, even though mortgage interest rates have more than halved in that time.
Although the decline in affordability seems relatively modest, it masks a bigger underlying problem.Between April 2008 and April 2016 the lower quartile selling price of homes in Auckland increased from $353,600 to 666,600, up 88.6%.
Over the same period, the median take home pay of an Auckland couple aged 25-29 increased from $1297 to $1579 a week, up just 21.7%.Which means house prices in Auckland have increased at more than four times the rate of incomes for typical first home buyers. That creates problems for first home buyers trying to save a deposit. …
Which is why we see these sorts of headlines in the real world:
April 2016: Central Otago/Lakes joins Auckland as the second region in NZ where housing is now unaffordable for typical first home buyers
January 2016: Auckland housing at most unaffordable
January 2016: Auckland housing affordability worsens
December 2015: Getting harder to buy a first home in Auckland as rising property prices offset falling interest rates and incomes stay largely flat
January 2015: Auckland houses ‘severely unaffordable’
January 2015: Auckland housing affordability tumbles
January 2015: The First Word: Housing affordability ‘crisis point’
October 2014: Housing affordability plummets across New Zealand
The housing crisis is not going away, and National needs to offer something better than lies, damn lies, and statistics.