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Paula Bennett feeds raw meat to the base about Social Housing waiting lists

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, July 26th, 2015 - 65 comments
Categories: housing, national, national/act government, paula bennett, same old national - Tags:

The National Party Conference is on this weekend. In Sky City in Auckland. How appropriate.

Yesterday Paula Bennett gave a speech to the conference about how people on the Housing Corporation waiting list are basically rorting the system.  She said:

“What often happens is that someone almost gets their circumstances to such that they are eligible to go on the waiting list, and they do it because they want a particular house,” she said.

So they would decline houses until the one they wanted became available.

“That might be all right when the list is very short, but when you’ve got literally thousands on it you are potentially taking opportunities away from other people, and I don’t think that good enough.

Bennett told delegates that 12 per cent turned down houses three or more times, but figures provided by her office showed the correct figure was about 7 per cent .

Those who turned down a house could drop down the priority “bands” that Housing New Zealand operated.

“They are not as desperate as they might have been if they are at the top of the list.”

Some declined a house for good reason, such as wanting to keep their children in the same school.

“But there are ones that decline and they don’t have a good reason and I don’t think you can keep doing that and stay on the wait list.”

She said they would get one warning after turning down one house and then face being taken off the list.

Other reasons for turning down a house included unsuitable fencing, poor exterior condition, the house’s history, a busy road or bedrooms that were too small.

In two cases, applicants turned down seven houses.

There were about 4500 on the waiting list at any one time of which 1200 were “transfers” – people who were in a state house but wanted to change houses.

So two cases out of 4,500 is evidence that people on Housing Corporation’s waiting list are gaming the system? Note also that Bennett claimed that 12% turned down houses three or more times but the actual figure was 7%. But without understanding the reasons the statistic is meaningless. And the comment is about those who are already living in Housing Corporation houses, not those on the waiting list.

This is red meat to feed the prejudices of National’s base. Anyone who understands anything about the homeless or Auckland’s housing market realise that there is a crisis occurring. For Bennett to talk about punishing the occasional person who do not like what they have been offered and not about the huge shortfall is pandering to the prejudiced and refusing to acknowledge reality.

65 comments on “Paula Bennett feeds raw meat to the base about Social Housing waiting lists ”

  1. Good post

    I cannot understand this from bennett

    So they would decline houses until the one they wanted became available.

    “That might be all right when the list is very short, but when you’ve got literally thousands on it you are potentially taking opportunities away from other people, and I don’t think that good enough.

    So if you decline a house – someone else gets offered it??? So where is the lost opportunity for someone else??? Is it that someone has to wait because the first person didn’t take the first house???

    • It’s rhetorical sleight-of-hand. Someone on the waiting list who turns down a house has effectively created an opportunity for others on the list, not removed one, so Bennett’s claim is obviously untrue. However, if the audience isn’t actually thinking about what she’s saying, the untrue claim is what they remember. And the audience this is aimed at certainly won’t be taking a critical-thinking approach to it.

      • cogito 1.1.1

        “the untrue claim is what they remember”

        This is a tactic that this government of liars has employed for the last seven years. They come up with untrue claims and by the time someone has corrected them, they’re out there with another string of untrue claims. Meanwhile the public remember the claim and dismiss the correction as “being picky”, “old news”, “haven’t you moved on yet” etc etc while at the same time swallowing and repeating the lies. Disciples of Goebbels the lot of them, and deserving of the same fate.

  2. stever 2

    The loathing and “othering” of people who rent is appalling to read about. Why is this woman so hateful? Especially given her own past, and the immense help she (rightfully) got.

    “Choice” is a big thing to right-wingers…but only for the right sort of people, clearly.

    • Well Stever if you saw Michelle Boag on Q&A you would realise that Tories are just nasty people. In fact foul is more descriptive . Why working people vote for them is beyond me .

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        +111

        Tories are outright destructive and all so that they can cater to their own greed.

        • Anno1701 2.1.1.1

          “No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin.”

          …..Nye Bevan

      • yip 2.1.2

        According to Michelle Boag working people are folks like her, that’s what i took away from what she was shouting about on Q&A, John Key must just be a simple working man as well.
        Others like cleaners, fast food workers etc, she thinks of them as slaves or serfs, not workers
        I wish they didn’t use Michelle “Borg resistance is futile” on Q&A

      • AB 2.1.3

        Yes – watched Robert Reid having a go at her and was shouting at the telly “wind her up another notch, wind her up another notch Robert.”
        Lovely stuff from Reid

  3. dukeofurl 3

    “Bennett told delegates that 12 per cent turned down houses three or more times, but figures provided by her office showed the correct figure was about 7 per cent .”

    So we have a minister, who continually shuffles figures around. She does it because she wants a particular figure and is not prepared to wait for it, so she adjusts the numbers to suit. This is OK when numbers were small but these numbers are real people. It seems some numbers are in the wrong neighborhood, or sound too busy.
    In year the Minister has made up numbers 7 times and its just not good enough.

  4. AB 4

    Why do you need to put them down the list when they are already putting themselves down the list by refusing the house?
    The real intention is to punish people who are not so totally cowed and beaten down that they’ll accept anything no matter how unsuitable.

    • dukeofurl 4.1

      Government ministers used to be ‘allocated houses’ in Wellington but some preferred to chose their own – surprise not- so Key changed the system they could get what house they wanted, mainly to allow Bill English to get the taxpayers to pay him rent to live in his own home.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        Yep. The big point of that is that it would be far cheaper for the government to simply own a 120 room hotel that the MPs could stay at when in Wellington.

        They changed the rules, told us that the government renting houses for the ministers would be cheaper and now look at all the ministers that own homes in Wellington that are rented to other MPs. The whole thing’s a rort and is costing us millions per year more than what it should.

  5. Nic the NZer 5

    Its not only raw meat, its simply empty words. If you look at what Bennett is actually proposing its basically nothing. People can still decline a transfer and remain on the waiting list for any number of quite reasonable reasons. If you were looking for state housing recipients to be sanctioned in some way you would be seriously disappointed.

    You do get the feeling people will be being offered unsuitable state houses more frequently in the future however given the stock of houses available is being reduced. This is probably National’s way of trying to avoid a blow out in state house waiting lists resulting of their sell down of the housing stock, but its unlikely to make up for the actual lack of housing stock on offer to force people into less suitable houses (as this would imply there was loads of housing stock sitting idle because it was un-suitable for any families, I doubt that’s the case at present).

  6. whateva next? 6

    ” I was brought up in state house by a single mother…..” blah blah

    Has Key even considered how hard it will be for anyone in his mother’s situation now?
    At least Cameron has always been a toff, and therefore genuinely cannot relate to the masses, but Key uses his back story to enlist Joe Average,
    It is a human instinct to make the world a better place for the next generation, he has made it better for his offspring, at the cost of our offspring
    Shame on him, the man is a villain.

    • Treetop 6.1

      I want to know how long Key lived in the well maintained state house?

      • whateva next? 6.1.1

        With a mother who was supported and could afford to bring her children up doing simply “a cleaning job”(as opposed to 3 ), afford to feed , and clothe them well, provide heath care to them and then send her children off to a good education that she didn’t have to heavily subsidise on her meager income….?

        • Treetop 6.1.1.1

          How times have changed, I have a problem with how Key has run and runs housing on every level. I have nothing negative to say about his mum. I wonder what she would make of how housing is run today?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Shame on him, the man is a villain.

      I prefer the word traitor. I think it describes his and National’s selling out of NZ for their own enrichment far better.

  7. Visubversa 7

    There are very good reasons why people turn down offers from HNZ. I was helping a refugee woman and her 4 children who were in a 2br HNZ place and were on the waiting list for something bigger. The first 4br place they were offered was next door to a gang HQ, and the second had a stream on the boundary and no fencing. Both were very unsuitable for a family with young children. The third offer was fine and they moved in OK. Those are probably the sort of stories behind the 7% refusal rates.

    • dv 7.1

      These two examples seem to show incompetence by HNZ.
      OR
      Are they doing it to get refusal stats for the Minister?

    • Nic the NZer 7.2

      I don’t what’s going to happen if the refusal is because of a gang house next door, but there will be no sanction if somebody refuses because the fencing is not suitable according to the article. Probably most of the refusals are for a legitimate reason. A 7% refusal rate is not high and doesn’t indicate that people are fussy by any means.

    • David H 7.3

      That and the usual leaky, damp, cold, mouldy dumps, that everyone else has turned down.

  8. Treetop 8

    It is not too much to expect for a social/HNZ dwelling to be adequately fenced if more than one person is a tenant.

    1200 on the waiting list to transfer is about 1100 too many. I was with HNZ for 10 years about 15 years ago, I organised my own transfer, (I swapped with a person in another suburb).

    What are the rules around transferring?

    I lived in a HNZ place and I could not cross the road without risking being run over. 6200 cars used the road daily, it was hilly and winding. I had to use a 15 minute detour by foot to stay alive. 7 months later I moved into a private rental.

    Maybe some of the HNZ housing is so scummy that people are not prepared to live there.

  9. Nick Morris 9

    With what we already know about State housing stocks from government sources, there are so many legitimate reasons to decline a house, particularly if it is just a transfer. Her argument appears to be: if they are in trouble, why wouldn’t they take a house that is uninsulated, mouldy, next to a crack house or p-lab, in a dangerous street with too few rooms, in the wrong area or town etc etc. Beggers can’t be choosers, right? To then go on to suggest darkly that there are plenty more where the ungrateful wretches came from, is official bullying at its worst.
    We have seen this kind of selective and unfair ad hominum leaking before from this minister. It appears that horrible spectacle of her giving out selective personal information early in her career was a personality trait, not a naive slip.
    Sleeping under a bridge? Have you tried the Auckland Harbour Bridge? Not interested? How dare you try to rort the system, I wash my hands of the lot of you! And so can all right thinking people! We tried to help them but they just turned out to be bludgers.

    • Treetop 9.1

      I thought that HNZ had an obligation to house people according to their circumstances.

      Are they doing this?

      What should the threshold be e.g. 5 out of 10, 7 out of 10?

      I’d like to see Bennett take two children under 5 to see the GP 3 kms away by bus.

      • Mike the Savage One 9.1.1

        That is exactly the intention behind this, to tell people, take it or leave it, or bugger off. Housing NZ consider a home adequate to house a person, as long as the roof does not leak, as long as there is some electricity, flowing water, a toilet of sorts, and a door that can be shut.

        Before most homes were insulated, they even considered it adequate to house persons in a freezing ice box.

        Persons who had the above, and lived in otherwise slum-like private rentals, were denied the chance to be put onto their waiting lists, as they were considered “adequately housed”, even when living in boarding houses, where cockroaches were regular visitors in kitchen cupboards and in the cooking area, or elsewhere for that sake.

        This is a desperate act by Bennett, as they know they have not got the supply to meet the demand, and to tell people to take a place, or shut up and go away, that is their way of dealing with people who may actually challenge the poor, appalling quality they get offered in places.

        Bennett is a professional liar and manipulator, and she was the front soldier for the most hideous welfare reforms they brought in under Future Focus in 2010 (work testing sick and disabled, sending sole parents to work), and the even worse ones in 2013. Now she does the same nasty crap as “(Anti)Social Housing Minister”.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    For Bennett to talk about punishing the occasional person who do not like what they have been offered and not about the huge shortfall is pandering to the prejudiced and refusing to acknowledge reality.

    National has to tell lies because reality always goes against their wishes.

  11. G C 11

    I see where she is coming from. Clearly if people are turning down state houses their need is not critical? However, I can imagine why tenants would decline these rundown death-traps.

    If people are refusing to live in certain social housing, where rents are often less than $100 – that speaks volumes about state-housing-quality. I’m sure people do work the system to achieve prime social housing at rock-bottom rents.

    Social housing shouldn’t be a free/discounted house for life.

    • Karen 11.1

      Social housing is never free and rent payable is based on income. Income increases, then so does the rent.

      The reasons for declining a state house are not just that many are in an appalling state of repair because the Nats have done no maintenance since they got into power. Here’s a few other reasons:
      Too far away from family support or work, would mean children changing school when they have already had to change too many times, too close to an abusive father, next door to a gang pad, no fenced area making it unsuitable for young children.

      Nobody turns down a state house without good reason and Bennett knows this.

      • G C 11.1.1

        If someone is paying $100 or less in rent here in Christchurch for a state-house, they would just be paying the ‘rates bills’ – so arguably it is a free house.

        Critical need to me is someone who has no accommodation, these people should be offered houses first. I’d be surprised if people in such situations turned accommodation down! The people who are turning houses down, well that’s their right. However, the government isn’t running rental market here, rather a social service.

        Sounds to me like Minister Bennett is weeding out applicants who just want a lighter burden in life from those in desperate circumstances.

        – “Too far away from family support or work”:
        Why not live with the family if they are such good support? With the saving on rent people could fuel their cars to get to work.

        – “would mean children changing school when they have already had to change too many times”:
        Why not take the state house and insure some stability – better than the child living in a car or tent.

        – “too close to an abusive father”:
        That’s pushing the envelope.

        – “next door to a gang pad”:
        I’ll give you this one!

        – “no fenced area making it unsuitable for young children”:
        People raise children in apartments, what a BS reason. Poor little Jimmy and Sally need to stay in a tent because I think the state-house isn’t fenced adequately! Give me a break!

        • Karen 11.1.1.1

          Okay so you are a troll or an idiot. Not worth my time either way.

          • G C 11.1.1.1.1

            If I was a troll I’d point out Minister Bennett’s supposed plan to build social housing in more desirable areas.

            There is a housing shortage in New Zealand’s main cities, so state houses should go to the most in need. I can tell you right now, people living in Auckland won’t be offered social houses down south in bluff – this is not happening.

            What is happening is people are turning down houses because they hope to be offered a better one. If they have the luxury to turn down a state house because it’s not fenced or near their desired school – I’d question why they’re at the TOP of the list.

            Why is this not a valid view point?

            • Karen 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Okay, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Small children do need somewhere safe to play outside, and busy roads, creeks, roaming dogs etc can be a safety problem in many areas. When kids are a bit older it is not a problem.

              Usually applicants for state houses have already had to move several times, and changing schools yet again can add to the trauma children are already experiencing.

              Staying with supportive family is only an option if there is room. Very unlikely to be the case. However, solo parents in particular need help with child care and transport, especially in emergencies, or when there is sickness in the family, and having family nearby can make a big difference.

              Violent ex partners are a reality for many women and children.

              • G C

                I do agree with you. I know my comments were harsh. It would be awesome if social housing was better quality and in larger supply. Unfortunately its been mismanage by both National and Labour governments.

                State housing has certainly been a leg up for many people, including John Key and Paula Bennett. Because so many people are in critical housing need – social housing is moving from a leg-up mind set to housing the most venerable first – obviously due to increases in poverty.

                I could be wrong, but I believe social-housing applicants normally get 2 or 3 houses to choose from anyway?

                • Karen

                  No, they only get offered one. If they turn it down for any reason, they don’t get offered another one for some time, so nobody would do so without good reason.

                  Labour were upgrading State Houses when they were last in power, and there were regular maintenance checks as well. This stopped when National got in and that is why so many are in very poor condition.

                  Personally, I would like to see a big increase in the number of state houses, and I’d like long term tenants to be given the option of buying them if circumstances allowed. A government loan (like the old State Advances) should be available for those on low incomes. Any house sold would need to be replaced so the overall stock does not decrease.

                  A warm, dry, secure home is not only a human right, it makes economic sense as long term there would be less expenditure in health, education and justice.

                  • greywarshark

                    @Karen
                    I agree that warm dry secure homes are needed in N.Z. It should be regarded as a right. It can not be dismissed by the right as a nice thing to have which has been dreamed up by progressive citizens, but a basic need. We live in a changeable climate, often wet and cold, with an underbelly of violence, thieving and willingness to despoil other people’s living conditions. Security, warmth, lack of damp conditions, and permanency with an address are all necessary for an individual citizen or family.
                    edited

                  • G C

                    Good housing certainly makes a huge difference to ones life. I rent privately and my last house was just shocking! Saying that, even a rundown house is better than being homeless – unless the toxic mould sickens/kills the resident!

                  • Mike the Savage One

                    “No, they only get offered one. If they turn it down for any reason, they don’t get offered another one for some time, so nobody would do so without good reason.”

                    Your are right, what Bennett announced is already in place, although tenancy managers at Housing NZ may have some discretion from case to case.

                    I assisted some persons with Housing NZ, and repeatedly, the applicants were told, they should make careful decisions and be mindful of the shortage of homes. If persons turn down a place more than twice, they will be told that they can wait a bit longer, and will not be offered another home for quite some time.

                    Bennett is a BS artist, an expert in dressing up stuff that is already being done, and claiming it is all HER new initiative.

    • greywarshark 11.2

      I hope you GC have put a donation towards the running of The Standard. Otherwise you are being subsidised by others and I don’t see why that should be when you don’t have any insights and intelligent comment to add to the discussion.

      The blog is carrying you and I don’t see why you should expect free input at taxpayers expense of you want to be a regular user. (I am using the stupid taxpayer slogan that you would be familiar with, stupid because now we have GST everyone is a taxpayer and has to pay 15% flat rate tax on most of their expenditure.)

  12. whateva next? 12

    “…..feeds raw meet to the base….” that sums up how National treat the people that are paying them, and giving them power to amass fortunes and comfort.
    NZ is becoming a zoo, survival of the fittest/greediest.

    • seeker 12.1

      New Zooland….well put whateva next @ 1.47pm.

      National certainly has a plan that is working for such a country but definitely does not have a plan that is working for Aotearoa New Zealand. False advertising as the back drop to the National Party Conference……..false is always the norm with them.
      What a blight on humanity they are.

    • G C 12.2

      New Zealand is certainly seeing a rise of extremely wealthy business people. Also many, many landlords have risen to now extract wealth from the working classes.

      • greywarshark 12.2.1

        Actually GC further to my recent comment to you, Rod Oram in the Sunday Times today in The Business section, says that even for landlords the price of housing is becoming too high for them to get a reasonable return from their tenants rental.

        Also that many of NZ rental houses, also householder houses , are under-maintained and that the cost of maintenance has risen 35% over a recent measured period, so there is no sure path to wealth from housing any more. And letting the houses degrade with minimum care appears to be the way that many landlords will ensure that the expected return will come to basic level.

  13. Smilin 13

    A good sane look at the problem. In some rural towns with substantial state housing you have people rorting the system by having houses long after their dependendents have come of age and live with others but are registered under false pretenses with their parents or parent to the point where you have one parent with a 3 bedroom house and they are the only one actually living there ,a family home on the govt when there are young families desperate for a house
    Sadly this is occurring in areas with high Maori populations which is the unspoken truth about the high demand for housing and also the racist culture that exist in winz and housing NZ in favour of generational dependence on the state by favouring race and age appropriate couples ie they are relationships where the parents are around the same age and the race issue as previously stated
    You might not like to agree but Im sure there are plenty of readers out there who know of these practices
    As for Bitchyfit well she is a bully nothing more

  14. seeker 14

    Margaret Thatcher would have been proud of Poorold Bennett for the myriads of ways she finds to undermine and torture the poor and the vulnerable, and would definitely have called her “one of us”.
    While john key is probably proud to call her his female clone the way she uses smoke and mirrors and twists numbers to her own rather wicked ends.

    • G C 14.1

      Moving forward – ‘deep sea oil drilling’?

    • cogito 14.2

      Quite frankly, as someone who voted for Maggie in three elections, I think she would have held Key, Bennett and the rest of them in utter and total contempt. Maggie, for all her faults, was a woman of high intelligence and principle. By contrast, Key and his mob are just nasty, malicious, attention seeking propagandists with a striking resemblance to certain brown-shirted Germans.

      • G C 14.2.1

        ‘Deep sea oil drilling’ saved the British economy, not the late Margaret Thatcher. Her austerity policies were brutal for their time. Many celebrated her death rather than life.

        I still refused to watch The Iron Lady

        • cogito 14.2.1.1

          Maggie came to power at a very specific time. Anyone living in England at that time will remember the winter of discontent when the country was coming to a virtual standstill on an almost daily basis. It was a situation that had to end, and Maggie took the bull by the horns. That is not to say that her policies did not damage many thousands if not millions and that she went way beyond what was reasonable. Even so, I would rather have Maggie back than have one more day of NZ’s pathetic galloping colonial ponytail pulling clot.

  15. Nick Morris 15

    Smilin, I am sure you are right, because people both rich and poor will rationally try to seek the best advantage for their family with whatever means, microscopic or massive that are at their disposal. No one should blame them for this.
    It is the public sector’s responsibility to devise a system where private advantage and public advantage require the same choices.
    We need people in State housing to aspire to eventually buy that house and therefore to look after it or even improve it, while putting money back into the building pool.
    In the same way we need a system where the better off also will choose to make socially responsible choices, even if they do it for self advancing reason.
    We are still a ways off this too, but it doesn’ mean that these outcomes can’t happen.
    To make it possible, though, we do need an administration that believes the State can play a prime part in achieving better outcomes for all.

  16. NickS 16

    Oh my, it seems none of the regular rats is willing to defend Bennett over this, how unsurprising.

  17. greywarshark 17

    And the latest – fire escape ladders are being removed from state houses because they haven’t been maintained and are dangerous and a health hazard! HousingNZ says that they are not needed because all the units have smoke alarms. That must be that new variety that summon a magic carpet vacuum that sucks everybody out of their rooms, wafts them into the air and out of the handiest window! Great what technology can do when you apply your imagination!)

    Which doesn’t make allowances for alarms that are not alarmed. Because the batteries were needed to make something go today, rather than a precautionary thing for the future. For people living close to the sharp edge of a 10c piece, using all available resources is a pragmatic measure.

    Then when you buy the battery, it must be the right size, O think they are more expensive than the usual two AAs and often people who weren’t clued up would think it would be AA’s required. Then there is the matter of clambering high up on to the ceiling level. Then when someone tall is around, making them do the deed, not to forget and peerhaps the need to nag to get it done. Etc etc.

    Shoddy, making the miracle of living through a fire, fall on bennies’ shoulders. I foresee with electricity becoming more costly and I believe a planned denial of incandescent bulbs coming with only the new tech more expensive bulbs available, there will be a resort to candles and consequent increased fire tragedies. Caring help is what poorer people need, support not callous shrugs.

    • G C 17.1

      If you can afford to buy candles, you can afford to buy a light-bulb. Also the government is making it mandatory for landlords to install smoke alarms. Just because people are poor doesn’t mean they wont contact their landlord if their alarm goes flat.

      Also, almost nobody has a device using a V5 battery? If smoke alarms took AA batteries, said batteries would end up in tv remotes.

      The removal of fire escapes sounds bad but so does a child braking his/her neck climbing up a rotten one.

      • greywarshark 17.1.1

        @G C
        Game and match. Pity that you enjoy playing tennis rather than trying to understand the real problems that can result in not having a working smoke alarm, and why it is not reasonable to consider it satisfactory as being the only line of defence against fire.
        edited

        • G C 17.1.1.1

          Ideally Housing NZ would replace the fire-escapes. The government seem to just want rid of these rundown houses and focus on new builds. A lot of these states houses have lasted the 50 years they were designed for – now it’s time for them to be bowled…

          …Oh wait, successive governments have failed to build new State Houses to take their place, ops. Guess they can’t bowl them now. What to do…

          Unfortunately it seems the government aren’t interested in spending a cent more than required to meet building codes. These tenants might be chasing a ‘white elephant’ in trying to get government to replace said fire-escapes.

  18. greywarshark 18

    I found this little youtube clip about being a pretty princess. It makes me think of how Paula might have been when she was young. If only dear little children could grow up to be dear big people.
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fjus5OCEN-w)

  19. Michael 19

    Beneficiary is truly a National sport at which Bennett excels.

  20. Mike the Savage One 20

    Bennett has been making stuff up, yet again, that pompous over ambitious liar.

    Housing NZ have for years been telling people on the waiting list, who would be offered some homes that would become vacant, that they should consider their need and accept reasonable offers. If persons turn down one offer, they may be given a second offer. I know of many cases, where those that turned down two offers, were told, that this was it, and that they would be put further down the list again, that was where their objections were not considered being reasonable. Housing NZ applicants are told this from the start.

    As far as I know, and despite of some Housing NZ tenancy managers having some discretion, what Bennett was suggesting or demanding, and announced at the National Party Propaganda Conference, is something already well in place and is being applied.

    The problem seems to be, that the houses on offer are of such poor conditions, in such problematic locations and neighbourhoods, that they are not even appealing to the downtrodden, who may rather stay in a boarding house than in some derelict state house that may become vacant.

    Also the waiting list we have now is much smaller than what they used to have on waiting lists, as National kicked many off the lists. Categories C and D are now no longer considered in urgent need, and told to find places on “the market”.

    But are we surprised about this? Only the uninformed, upper middle class, wannabe media hacks, who would not really know what life in a state house looks like, if they ever came across one, they cannot bother asking any questions and doing some extra checking.

    Graduate media careerists are too busy polishing finger nails and sending stupid tweets to each other, rather than do their work, that is the real problem we have, which also does not help Labour, who are lacking in good media presentation work.

  21. gnomic 21

    As I understand it Housing NZ no longer manages the waiting list for state houses. That function has been transferred to MSD. HNZ manages tenancies once a client has a dwelling and can evict tenants who fail to comply with the rules. They are also responsible for maintenance or lack of it. It seems that not many people know this from the prior discussion here. Another aspect of the regime’s plan to make social housing as shambolic as possible by dividing responsibilities among various ministries and having three ministries responsible for various aspects of the system. I blame English who clearly would like to do away with state housing altogether along with the people of the benny but perhaps can’t get that one through, for now at least. Still in the brighter future things will be so good everyone will own their own home. Yes, there will be apple pie in the sky.

    • Mike the Savage One 21.1

      Thanks for pointing this out. I have not had direct dealings with Housing New Zealand since that responsibility for those qualifying for housing support and being accepted onto the waiting list, was passed on to MSD.

      So it seems that these “issues” that Paula Benefit has been going on about have only really arisen since MSD staff have been involved. While I continue to disbelieve her comments that this is a serious problem, there may be a lack of training, or staff being overburdened with new responsibilities, that are the reasons behind all this.

      In any case, I do NOT believe the “problem” are the applicants on waiting lists, the apparent problem is under-resourcing and poor training at MSD, possibly combined with poor liaison with Housing NZ staff, looking after the “stock”.

      It is just more blame shifting, by government, blaming the victim, nothing else.

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