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PM’s science award winners on the sell-off

Written By: - Date published: 11:51 am, January 31st, 2015 - 27 comments
Categories: housing, Privatisation, science - Tags: ,

Key and his government will only to listen to scientists when it is convenient for them to do so. Any scientist raising inconvenient truths about the environment, climate change, poverty, education and the like, will be at best ignored and at worst attacked (just like reporters and writers in fact).

In the case of the state housing sell-off, Key is again ignoring the scientists. His own award winning scientists.

The Prime Minister’s Science Prize 2014 went to the He Kainga Oranga / Housing and Health Research Programme, led by Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman. Here’s a piece by Howden-Chapman and her team in The Dominion last year:

State housing reform welcomed, but way off target

The focus of the prime minister and three other ministers on social and affordable housing is welcome. It is a belated recognition that income inequality after housing costs has been going up. The seniority of these ministers is an important acknowledgement of the role of housing as a driver and outcome of the economy, but the Government should reconsider its view of state houses as only assets to be realised.

We have carried out a decade-long cohort study of Housing NZ households, whose incomes are a third of the national average and contain a disproportionate number of children. The rate of admittances to hospital of tenants who move from private rental into state housing drops dramatically.

Moreover, our study of severe housing deprivation, carried out with Statistics NZ, estimated there are 34,000 people in severe housing deprivation, needing between 12,000 and 24,000 houses to live in affordable, safe, uncrowded conditions.

It’s critical we ensure housing is affordable and keeps us warm, safe and healthy, regardless of whether it’s occupied by the owner, rented from the state or community groups, or from private landlords.

As with any assets, state houses need ongoing maintenance. Fortunately, state housing has been consistently shown by the BRANZ survey and our research to be in better condition than private rental properties.

There is a case to supplement our small stock of state houses with community housing. However, this should not be delivered by selling discounted state houses.

The Government’s continuing attempts to divest itself of state housing overlook the enormous benefits to society which these homes produce in alleviating severe housing shortages. They were built up by successive generations of New Zealanders, and to “sell them off” under the pretence of efficiency is a disservice to all of us, whether we’re homeowners or renters.

Thus say the winners of the PM’s science award.

For more evidence of how poorly the sell-off is being received, see also Armstrong’s rather good piece in The Herald today.

(ht: JL)

27 comments on “PM’s science award winners on the sell-off”

  1. Cue the Taxpayer’s Union providing a dedicated breakdown of all the monies He Kainga Oranga has received from the government. Just so we have ~full information~, of course.

    • Sacha 1.1

      Howden-Chapman also appears to be a woman, so naturally she must be put in her place by these smug champions of the corporate backscratch.

  2. saveNZ 2

    Exactly.

  3. Treetop 3

    State housing has been a success due to providing stable, decent and affordable housing to those in need.

    The two last National governments have eroded state housing. Anyone of us or a family member could find ourselves needing a state home due to the unexpected arising (loss of job, chronic health or a serious accident, loss of partner) this is why state housing needs to be available. I do not consider 5,000 on the state housing waiting list, as being available housing. Not sure if this is 5,000 homes required or 5,000 people.

  4. Incognito 4

    It will be dead-easy for National to find 16 independent unbiased mates to counter the academic rhetoric from the two learned professors in their Ivory Tower who simply don’t know that the “free market” is a silver bullet [sarc]

  5. Sabine 5

    what a load of hogwash.

    Welfare reform…we reform you out of jobs, out of food, out of houses to go live under some bridge. Please die silently and don’t make a fuss.

    Housing reform…..we will sell the houses to community groups to house the people because us the government of the people by the people dont give a shit about people other than us people. Please go freeze silently and don’t make a fuss.

    What a pathetic bunch of free loaders.

    • Gosman 5.1

      Except they are going to be spending more on social housing. Not exactly the actions of a government who supposedly is open about not caring about social housing as you imply.

      • Sabine 5.1.1

        You too need love….so much love.

        Go hug a puppy, it will do you a world of good.

        • McFlock 5.1.1.1

          Careful.
          He might throttle the puppy, just to see what would happen.
          He does not understand this thing that hu-mons call “love”.

      • Treetop 5.1.2

        When?

        How much?

        Do you think there will be MORE state/social housing combined than there presently is?

        Nothing is GAINED by increasing social housing numbers while decreasing state housing numbers.

        The Salvation Army and budgeting already manage some people in state housing.

        Why is social housing required?

        HNZ could be restructured to manage those with high needs and social housing administrators would not be required.

        Land and house grabbing government so English can have a bigger surplus.

        • Gosman 5.1.2.1

          Why do you think HNZ should be the only means of providing state assisted social housing?

          • Treetop 5.1.2.1.1

            There is no such thing as “state assisted social housing.”

            Social housing would have to be proped up like charter schools are. Starve anything of money and it will fall over, just look at what has happened to state housing.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.3

        Spending extra money to prove, once-and-for-all-time, that government subsidies to private companies distort markets.

        Ideology trumps results.

        🙄

      • mickysavage 5.1.4

        Gorman get with the news. The nats are spending less on housing. They expect to have money left over that they can spend on schools and RONS and other stuff.

        The premise of the post is perfectly framed. If you get housing right then many things flow from it, Kids have a better standard of health, they learn better, their families are much less stressed, their chances of contributing to society in the future is much bigger.

        But get it wrong …

        • Gosman 5.1.4.1

          There is no evidence I am aware of that National will spend less on social housing.

          • Craig H 5.1.4.1.1

            My personal concern is not that National will spend less on social housing in the short term, it’s that moving social housing from an asset-based policy to a subsidy-based policy leaves the door open to reduce that spending at a later date as a means of reducing state expenditure for ideological reasons.

          • Sacha 5.1.4.1.2

            Sell 8000 houses. Add 3000 subsidies. Pocket the difference.

            • Treetop 5.1.4.1.2.1

              The difference would house the 5,000 on the HNZ waiting list.

              A fire sale or a long term low interest loan is the only way that a HNZ house will become a social housing house.

              When it came to Solid Energy the thing was not worth selling. For some silly reason the government think that NGOs will line up to buy HNZ houses on the market. The only people lining up would be property developers and they are not social housing providers.

      • Clemgeopin 5.1.5

        If you honestly believe that this lying neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, shallow and money-hungry pro wealthy, pro corporate capitalist National/ACT government really cares about the welfare of the less-privileged, low-incomed ‘under-class’ struggling poor people, then, you are a fool.

        • Paul 5.1.5.1

          Gosman doesn’t believe a word he says.
          He is paid to spread confusion by his masters.
          I feel sorry for him sometimes and contempt at others.

        • Lloyd 5.1.5.2

          Of course they care. They “know” that the sort of person who needs state housing just needs to have a good economic prod and they will get a job and no longer be an economic drag on the state, after all the only reason the need a hand-out from the state is that they are lazy and don’t buy shares or invest in houses to produce an income like “ordinary” people do.

      • Andrea 5.1.6

        Gosman: Seeing’s believing with this mob.

        Fine: sell off the four percent or so of housing that’s ‘in the wrong place’. Who could quibble?

        And use every last cent gained to build decent housing for both ends of the market – the one and two bed places, the custom-built for disabled people of few to no means, and homes for the larger families in need- including extended families.

        Not one cent should be allowed to escape to any other purpose whatsoever.

        While we’re at it – make it abundantly clear that, for as long as people meet the criteria for ‘state’ housing they stay eligible and never face either upheaval or opprobrium.

        If they rise past those criteria and still need to be in that housing catchment, then the ‘provider’ helps them find and settle into new accommodation so there is minimal disruption to them in return for freeing up the ‘social housing’.

        I’m not sure why people in this country are so housing-mobile. Wastes a mint of money and may have led to the heartless lack of community we now suffer.

        • sabine 5.1.6.1

          housing is to expensive in nz – so people seek to reduce their cost

          houses are pest invested – ack ack ack

          houses are mouldy, leaking, singing energy etc – ack ack ack and not safe

          but mainly as i have observed over the last 18 month in the neighbourhood where i have my business, house gets sold, tenant moves out new tenant moves in, house gets sold, tenant moves out new tenant moves out

          communities? You don’t have these anymore in NZ, as much as you don’t have local businesses anymore as they depend homes that are owner occupied, or long term tenanted….thats not happening now.

          Peeps in NZ pay to have a house that they can make their home…..many don’t ever move in a rental as they risk loosing this rental within 30 days at any given time.

  6. Sabine 6

    what i would like to know is simply

    can Destiny Church prevent any people that are not tithing to Destiny Church from living in social housing created out of the old State House assetts.
    the same counts for Scientology, the Roman Catholic Church, the Mormons, the Jehova Witnesses etc etc etc.

    will it be ok for social housing providers to discriminate on the grounds of race? gender> – no houses / appartments for single unmarried mothers cause ‘should have kept her legs shut’, homosexuals – cause they too shut keep their legs shut, transgenders, single men – keep your legs shut too, etc etc etc.

    Government took over these social services from charities some 80 odd years ago to provide these services irrespective of gender, race, religion, age etc etc etc.
    Are we now happy to undo all of this?

    Example: I was born in a roman catholic hospital – emergency birth, and was babtised immediately cause sickly baby. I am the only catholic in a family of protestants. Now in a state run hospital that would not have happened, but as a religious institution it was important to babtise the child that might not survive…souls need saving you see….wishes of the mother were secondary.

    the US of A have ample examples of health services denied on grounds of ‘believes’, insurance coverage can be curtailed (no birth control for women) on grounds of ‘believes’, pharmacists can refuse to fill prescriptions on grounds of ‘believes’. Will the same happen here in NZ in regards to Charity run Housing Projects as most Charities are religious in Nature. As I said above If i apply for housing can I be refused for not being enough of a Christian? Or for being divorced? Or for not wanting to live with my parents until my father hands me over to my husband for safe keeping?

    Someone please ask these question…because so far not on of the bobble heads on tv, radio or parliament have done so.

  7. tracey 7

    “… The rate of admittances to hospital of tenants who move from private rental into state housing drops dramatically. .”

  8. Neil 8

    As Key once said, “you get an opinion from one scientist & its not the opinion to fit your agenda, you keep getting another one until you get a scientist that gives an opinion that fits your agenda”

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