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National’s social housing policy in action

Written By: - Date published: 10:16 am, April 9th, 2015 - 14 comments
Categories: class war, housing, national, Privatisation - Tags: , , ,

For those who are wondering how National’s “social housing” policy is going to work in practice, The Herald today has a piece that gives a pretty fair idea:

Housing NZ sells off ‘social’ land

A big state-owned site in Auckland once earmarked for social and affordable housing is being carved up for sale – and the first 50 houses will be sold privately at market rates.

The 24ha site formerly part of the Papakura army camp, between Walters Rd and McLennan Park, was bought by Housing NZ in June 2004 for $10.7 million. Its rating valuation has more than doubled to $23.4 million because of Auckland’s desperate housing shortage, but no houses have yet been built.

In October 2012, the agency unveiled plans to build 450 to 500 homes, including 10 per cent state houses, 20 per cent other social housing and 70 per cent for private sale at prices likely to be “in the high 200s to the high 300s” – which would have made it Auckland’s biggest low-cost housing development for 25 years.

Instead, real estate agent Barfoot & Thompson yesterday advertised seven “super lots” of up to 16 sites each for sale by expressions of interest, with pre-designed two-, three- and four-bedroom houses designed by Studio of Pacific Architecture.

Housing NZ general manager of asset development Leonie Freeman said the release of 50 sites on 2ha would all be for private sale at prices that “will reflect the current market at the time of sale”. …

National government state house sales Tamaki Housing Group

14 comments on “National’s social housing policy in action ”

  1. Al66 1

    How is this “social housing”?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      It’s not, it’s helping the rich to even more money while screwing over the poor.

      • NZJester 1.1.1

        Actually it is helping the rich to even more money while screwing over the middle class and the poor.
        The middle class are finding they can no longer afford to get their own home and must keep paying higher and higher rents to the rich house owners.
        As for the poor they are living in caravans and sheds paying rents that used to get them an actual house.

        • Scintilla

          They are selling now while they can still make a massive profit. Actually building social housing won’t start until the market has imploded and, horrors, the new govt has to kick-start the economy with a massive build-a-thon.

          • Murray Simmonds

            Exactly right Scintilla.

            Remember how they’d planned to put Solid Energy into the package of assets up for sale in the previous term? They knew it was expected to go belly up pretty soon but nevertheless they hoped to flog it off to the public before that happened. Unfortunately, it went belly up sooner than they’d expected and so they had to withdraw it from the Asset Sales Program.

            Now its Housing NZ stock. My guess is that they are expecting the Auckland housing bubble to implode pretty soon, so that is why they want to flog it off sooner rather than later.

            Of course they will attempt, through Gov’t policy (i.e. more of the kind of totally ineffectual intervention they come up with thus far) to delay the bubble implosion as long as possible.

            Because most Nat voters own property and are delighted to see the bubble swelling and swelling apparently endlessly. And ya never know: They might just get lucky enough for the implosion not to occur until AFTER the next election.

  2. NZJester 2

    I thought everyone knew how their social housing policy worked.
    1: You starve housing NZ of funds needed to maintain and repair state houses.
    2: Once the house becomes unlivable and those in need of housing do not want to move into it you claim it is excess unneeded stock.
    3: You sell excess unneeded stock to mom and pop investors (Mom and pop investors = Rich National Supporters) for the low market rate of just the land in a poor suburb as the house is now worthless.
    4: The mom and pop investors remove the old houses and build expensive houses turning the area into a rich suburb that vastly improves the market value of the land and they then flick it off to over seas investors at a huge profit.
    5: A part of that huge profit goes back to National as an anonymous cabinet club donation.

    That way everyone is happy except for those who need housing. But then they did not help fund National through anonymous cabinet club donations so why would National care about them.

    • philj 2.1

      You do not jest. Your analysis is pretty accurate. Can’t see any improvement in the state provisioning of state housing. And Oz doesn’t seem to be an option for decent pay or jobs any more. Brighter future and rock star economy? Yeah right,, wing tripe.

    • ropata 2.2

      land of the wrong right wing crowd.
      a land where the poor have no power.
      a land where your “job” has zero hours.
      but handouts go to casinos with towers,

    • Grace Miller 2.3

      Damn you, Jester!

      Right on the money, alas 🙁

      And let’s be honest, it’s *always* about the money with this government of pigs at the trough.

  3. ropata 3

    Another dick move by the trojan horse bankster party. Pump and dump.
    Just down the road is the highly successful Addison community: high density housing close to the railway & sports grounds & the motorway. This area of Papakura used to be Army land, there was a lot of social housing for the troops, as well as state houses all around. This government values money over people.

  4. Tracey 4

    what happened between 2004 and 2008? Did Labour get far down the planning stage to build on the land?

  5. Penny Bright 5


    9 April 2015

    Press Release: Housing Lobby Spokesperson Sue Henry
    “Stop selling State Housing stock Bill English!”

    “Under the watch of Bill English as Minister of Housing New Zealand, this Government’s policy relating to State Housing tenants has seen
    Housing NZ have a paradigm shift.

    “From providing homes for those on low incomes, with stable, secure tenancies, with ‘income-related rents,’ to abdicating this responsibility by catering to property development companies at the top end of the market for speculative gain, under the Public-Private Partnership model.”

    “It’s unfortunate that ‘social housing’ groups were part of constructing this unworkable policy which overseas translated into tenants being found dead in the gutter with wads of worthless housing vouchers in their pockets.”



    “The fact is – State Housing is PUBLIC, and ‘social housing’

    “We want the Social Housing Reform (Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters Amendment) Act 2013 repealed forthwith.”


    Sue Henry

    Housing Lobby

  6. The Murphey 6

    What ‘New Zealand’ will be left with once this experiment has run its course

    Ruinous debt
    Societal dislocation and breakdown

  7. Jan Rivers 7

    A newly formed organisation State Housing Action Network (SHAN) has written to all the potential social housing providers advising them of the impact of buying state houses.

    It must have hit some buttons because within four and a half hours the Deputy Prime Minister had responded with a press release aiming to counter the arguments made by SHAN.

    This includes the following “commitments”. I’m not enough in the loop on housing to interpret what these mean but maybe others can comment.

    “Housing New Zealand and community housing providers will collectively provide more social housing places than there are now.

    Properties will be sold only if this results in better services for tenants and fair and reasonable value for taxpayers.

    Tenants in properties that are sold will continue to be housed for the duration of their need.

    The Government will spend more on income-related rent subsidies and ensure that Housing New Zealand has enough capital to build new social housing and to develop its existing properties.”

    Given some of the heart-breaking stories of forced evictions http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/20167656/auckland-state-house-protest-blocks-far-north-home-project and relocation of homes it is interesting to speculate what these commitments might amount to in practice.

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