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Power poverty on the up

Written By: - Date published: 8:18 am, December 19th, 2014 - 56 comments
Categories: child welfare, cost of living, energy, health, housing, national/act government, poverty - Tags:

Stuff has published a couple of very useful, but depressing, articles based on data extracted from the 2013 census.  The grimmest information is that fuel/energy poverty is increasing, with a higher proportion of households unable to afford any heating.

Auckland has the highest proportion of households in the country that never use heating.  Related to this, Auckland housing crisis continues to increase, with population growth being higher than the growth in building of new residences.  It is not surprising then, that a high proportion of Aucklanders homes, especially Pacific Island households, that are overcrowded.

Such living conditions will result in an increase in health problems, with an impact on things such as education and work outcomes.

Catherine Harris reports:

The Housing in Auckland survey, which uses census data from 1991 to 2013, said 5.9 per cent of dwellings last year never use heating fuels, about 25,854 homes.

Northland was next with 5.3 per cent and nationally it was 3 per cent.

Although Auckland homes don’t need to be heated as much as southern parts of New Zealand, there are some times when it is required, especially in uninsulated households.  These are the ones more likely to be inhabited by people on low incomes.

Fuel poverty in Auckland was also on the rise. Last year’s figures were nearly 40 per cent higher than the 18,513 dwellings noted in 2006’s census.  It was a national trend, with the number of unheated houses across the country rising to 44,832, up 35 per cent.

In Auckland unheated private dwellings are most common in Waitemata and south Auckland.

Nearly 16 per cent of houses in Waitemata went without heating, 12.3 per cent in Mangere-Otahuhu and 10 per cent of Otara-Papatoetoe homes.

These are low socio-economic areas.  The report also shows that a higher proportion of people across the country are living in rental accommodation.  Auckland has a big increase in renting.  Since 2006 there has been a n 18% increase in renters in Auckland, making the 2013 proportion being 35.4% of households being rented.

* The increase in renters was lower in Wellington (up 12 per cent) and Canterbury (up 11.7 per cent).

* But several other regions had even bigger increases in the renting population than Auckland, including Southland (up 27.2 per cent), Northland (20 per cent), and Bay of Plenty (19 per cent).

In yesterday’s article by Catherine Harris, the Auckland housing situation was highlighted.

Since the last census in 2006, Auckland’s population had risen 8.5 per cent, which had outpaced the 7.6 per cent increase in dwellings.

[…]

Home ownership rates in Auckland were 43 per cent compared to almost 53 per cent in the rest of the country, and this did not only affect the young, said Goodyear.

“There have been substantial drops in home ownership for Aucklanders aged in their 30s, 40s, and 50s since 2001.”

The process of supplying more houses for Auckland’s growing population was also slower than other centres.

There were 358 building consents issued in Auckland per 100,000 people last year, compared with 423 per 100,000 for New Zealand overall, although that was changing.

[…]

And inside the houses, Auckland’s share of the country’s overcrowded households had risen from about a third  in 1991, to almost half 12 years later.

Crowding was highest among Pacific peoples, with 45.3 per cent of Pacific peoples in Auckland living in a crowded household last year.

The average Auckland household housed 3 people last year, up for 2.9 in 2006, while the rest of the country ranged from 2.3 to 2.7 people and households were either stable or falling.

Overcrowded families Stuff

Image from Stuff 2012 article on “crammed families waiting for state homes”

Not only has the government ailed to do anything to improve the living situations of a high proportion of Kiwis, but things have got worse under their watch.

As Anthony Robins showed yesterday, the National government’s “rock star” economy was more spin and fantasy of what might happen in the future, rather than being based in reality.  Furthermore, the government’s handling of the economy, with it’s unhelpful tax cut bribes, has resulted in a recovery being delayed.

 

56 comments on “Power poverty on the up ”

  1. vto 1

    This government only offers token gestures to these realities…. they are uncaring. They put all their time into increasing their own wealth and ignore their fellow kiwis and neighbours who are struggling.

    Not a very nice way to go about life is it. Never has been and never will be. It has never been recognised as a worthy approach to life. Shame on this National Party government and its supporters.

    The kick in the guts is that this government’s arseholes will reward themselves with gongs within a handful of years of leaving these people in the lurch.

    Such a fine bunch.

    • aerobubble 1.1

      But they did say they dont care. Neoliberals believe the market will solve poverty. The market will get us to Mars. The market will keep our rivers clean.

      They abdicated from governing for all. Removing the means govt uses to deal to poverty, and giv the savings as tax cuts, so the many doing fine think its good for them. Yet it isnt.

  2. coaster 2

    There are plenty of cheap houses for sale in parts of the south island, coal is cheap and wood plentiful, and on the west coast we dont have leaky building problems. Why dont people relocate?.

    • miravox 2.1

      “Why dont people relocate?.”

      – jobs
      – family
      – cost of move

      For starters

      • BassGuy 2.1.1

        I’d just typed up a reply listing those in a rather more long winded fashion, although there are a couple of things I’d add to that list:

        The first is that I’m not sure it matters just how cheap houses are in the South Island, because people who can’t heat their homes usually aren’t able to buy a house.

        Some years ago I had some party animal flatmates who ran up very large power bills and refused to pay for what they’d used, dividing the bill by the number of people in the house (they usually paid their share by selling drugs, I seem to recall).

        I had no money for food after paying power and rent, so I had to go and stay with family for a few weeks until I could afford to eat again.

        Work and Income, being their usual helpful selves, started getting really nasty to me, threatening to cut me off because – in their eyes – I was moving away from the big city to a small town with fewer employment opportunities just so I could stay on the dole and not have to look for work.

        I imagine that would still apply, particularly to someone moving from Auckland to the South Island without a guaranteed job.

        • miravox 2.1.1.1

          Yes, I forgot about those work and income directives.

          And thanks for reminding me of how Work and Income can fail to understand that life happens in ways that are outside the manual.

    • lprent 2.2

      Jobs? Internet?

      I rather enjoy the substantial payments from my employer, and the fast fiber that I enjoy at home.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Coal is not cheap as anthropogenic climate change has shown.

  3. miravox 3

    Chances are the rheumatic fever reduction programme would have worked a whole lot better if over-crowding was addressed as a prevention measure.

  4. Since the last census in 2006, Auckland’s population had risen 8.5 per cent, which had outpaced the 7.6 per cent increase in dwellings.

    And inside the houses, Auckland’s share of the country’s overcrowded households had risen from about a third in 1991, to almost half 12 years later.

    Illustrated with photos of people who appear to have ridiculous numbers of children. Cause, meet effect.

    • karol 4.1

      Whole lot of assumptions there. PM.

      When there is overcrowding, it often means several (nuclear) families are living in one household. How do you know which families the children in the photo belong to?

      Houses should be built to accommodate the kinds of households people live in. Single people and two person households make up the majority of NZ households.

      Often there are a small number of people living in big houses, with bedrooms they don’t use.

      There also should be some households for larger extended and/or nuclear families.

      • Psycho Milt 4.1.1

        When there is overcrowding, it often means several (nuclear) families are living in one household.

        In cases where multiple families are having to share a house, we have an overcrowding problem. In cases where one family includes a ridiculous number of children, we have an idiot problem. They’re different problems, and the second one isn’t the government’s job to do anything about.

        Often there are a small number of people living in big houses, with bedrooms they don’t use.

        Me, for instance: two kids, four bedrooms. It’s lovely and spacious. But if there were seven kids, I’d have a very foreseeable overcrowding problem and can’t-pay-the-bills problem. This is, of course, why I don’t have seven kids.

        There also should be some households for larger extended and/or nuclear families.

        There should be a pony for everybody, but there isn’t. The people who build houses are generally in a position to build a house because they didn’t have ridiculous numbers of children, so the private sector won’t supply them. And the public sector is probably well aware that if it did build some such houses, it wouldn’t take long for the sob stories to appear about how the only available big house isn’t where the idiot-problem family wants to live, or what a crime it is that the parents are being expected to move out of the big house and let someone else have it, now that all their kids have left home. No-one likes a thankless task.

        • batweka 4.1.1.1

          what’s the acceptable number of children?

          • Psycho Milt 4.1.1.1.1

            Useful rule of thumb: any more than three and you’re giving planet Earth a big middle finger.

            • batweka 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Not really. If you are concerned about the environment we live in then we should be repopulating in relationship to the resources of the landbases we live in. Your kids are going to live in a resource depleted world not the one you live in where people are privileged to replace themselves. I’m guessing you didn’t take that into account when you had your kids though. Which means that you are moralising about other people without applying the same moral stringency to yourself.

              • That reply makes no sense.

                1. People have a built-in and pretty powerful urge to reproduce.
                2. The planet could with a lot fewer people on it, not more.

                These facts are in conflict. A sensible person will seek some useful compromise between evolutionary failure and overpopulating the planet. That useful compromise progresses via: no kids, which is an evolutionary fail; one kid, which is risky in evolutionary terms but great in population-reduction terms; two kids, which is still slightly risky but also still just below population replacement level; three kids, which pretty much removes evolutionary risk but increases the population; and upwards of three, which basically says “Fuck the planet, my selfish genes rule!”

                • karol

                  PM, you have set off a big diversion from the main issue – that there is not enough affordable housing for our population. You have opted for blaming the victims, rather than looking at the bigger picture.

                  The stats show that large families are not the problem. People like you who live in houses with more space than you need are as much of a cause as people with large families.

                  I read an article recently that said we need to be thinking in terms of available beds rather than available houses.

                  In recent times houses have got bigger, and families had tended to get smaller. That stats NZ figures I linked to showed the majority of people live in one and two people households.

                  It is not large families that are causing the affordable housing shortage, it is the lack of sufficient affordable accommodation. Builders and developers have focused too much on building bigger houses for the better off, and treated accommodation for low income people as an after-thought.

                  • It’s not a diversion, because families of three or four generally don’t suffer from overcrowding. Someone who’s living in overcrowded conditions because they have half a dozen kids is a victim of what, exactly? Apart from stupidity, I mean.

                    The stats show that large families are not the problem.

                    Depends which problem. Large families aren’t the reason we have too few houses in Auckland, true. They are a significant part of the reason we have a lot of overcrowding in particular suburbs, though.

                    Builders and developers have focused too much on building bigger houses for the better off…

                    They build houses for people who can afford to build houses, so that’s hardly surprising. Low income people needn’t and shouldn’t expect to live in a new house – mine was built 30 years before I moved into it.

                    People don’t fuck thinking about the global population situation.

                    The smart ones don’t fuck without thinking about potential consequences. That’s why it’s an idiot problem.

                    • McFlock

                      It’s not a diversion, because families of three or four generally don’t suffer from overcrowding.

                      Of course, your assumption is one family per dwelling.

                    • It’s not. See above: “In cases where multiple families are having to share a house, we have an overcrowding problem. In cases where one family includes a ridiculous number of children, we have an idiot problem. “

                    • McFlock

                      Fair enough.

                      Before we start arguing about whether the so-called “idiot problem” is a rational description, care to prove it exists?

                    • karol

                      From an Otago Uni report on Auckland’s housing inequality:

                      In New Zealand, the rates of overcrowding are highest for Maori and Pacific Islanders. This can be attributed to a number of factors including that families of these ethnicities more commonly live with other families or extended families, as well as affordability of rent and house ownership.

                      You keep trying to divert from the main problem – something which has increased in recent years. And it’s not surprising seeing as the “market” favours building for better off people.

                      You keep adding one diversion upon another, and keep ignoring any contrary evidence.

                      Who says low income people expect new houses?

                    • Before we start arguing about whether the so-called “idiot problem” is a rational description, care to prove it exists?

                      From the report referred to in the post:

                      Crowded Housing in New Zealand 1986–2006 showed that crowding increased sharply with the number of dependent children. In 2006, less than 2 percent of households with no dependent children experienced crowding, but 8 out of every 10 households with seven or more dependent children were crowded.”

                      Multi-family households are increasing as a proportion of the total, as you’d expect with housing in short supply:

                      “Multi-family households have increased as a proportion of both severely crowded households (from 42.1 to 45.1 percent)…”

                      However, they’re still only 45% of the total. It doesn’t break down the other 55%, but it presumably consists of single-family households (maybe also groups of unrelated residents if these aren’t classed as ‘multi-family’), and crowding “increase[s] sharply with the number of dependent children.”

                      It exists, alright.

                      You keep trying to divert from the main problem – something which has increased in recent years.

                      I’m not diverting from the main problem. Yes, Auckland has a housing shortage, and yes it’s resulting in more instances of multiple families living in the same house. However, let’s not ignore the significant impact of the idiot problem on these figures – according to the report itself, multi-family dwellings are only 45% of the severe overcrowding total.

                    • McFlock

                      It doesn’t break down the other 55%, but it presumably consists of single-family households (maybe also groups of unrelated residents if these aren’t classed as ‘multi-family’), and crowding “increase[s] sharply with the number of dependent children.”

                      🙄
                      Your problem is that you look at the real data and then pretend that things the data doesn’t describe at all are “presumably” of characteristics XYZ, and then you pretend that your speculation is:
                      a) therefore evidence based; and
                      b) relevant to the point that overcrowding is not due to an oversupply of people.

                      It’s the result of leaving the market unregulated (or even overcooked by interests rates that are focused simply on keeping inflation down), coupled with the obliteration of state housing and increasing inequality making housing unaffordable.

                    • Sabine

                      Unless you are a family of three living in a one bedroom apartment as that is the only affordable housing available.

                • karol

                  Actually, “evolution” tends to result in people with scarce resources having more children than people and communities with wealthier lifestyles. It’s a protection against the whole whanau or community dying off because of poor health, etc.

                  People don’t fuck thinking about the global population situation. Fix the too large inequality gap, provide adequate incomes, education, and housing for all, and the tendency is for individual families to have fewer children.

                  Victim blaming does nothing to provide a solution.

                • Your problem is… etc

                  It is of course within the bounds of possibility that the 55% of overcrowded houses not occupied by multiple families also aren’t occupied by single families, and that the evidence that crowding increases sharply with the number of dependent children has no bearing on the level of overcrowding found in these suburbs, and that the fact that every story about this issue is illustrated with a photo of someone with an excessive number of children is just an unlikely coincidence. Believe that if you wish.

                  • McFlock

                    It just seems to me that if more than 5 or 10% of overcrowded households do not fall into the single or multiple family dynamic, and only say half of single-family overcrowded households fall into your “idiot” category of more than two kids plus parents, then your problem-solving skills seem to be deficient (if you genuinely want to address the issue of overcrowding by concentrating on a quarter of overcrowded households, as opposed to just diverting the discussion into a debate about your personal hate-fetish).

                    • …if you genuinely want to address the issue of overcrowding by concentrating on a quarter of overcrowded households, as opposed to just diverting the discussion into a debate about your personal hate-fetish…

                      I’ve characterised it throughout this thread as ‘a’ problem, not ‘the’ problem.

                      Everybody reading this will be aware of the contribution of Auckland’s housing shortage to overcrowding there, and to the various claims about the causes of that shortage (varying according to political outlook), and to possible solutions. But the housing shortage isn’t the only cause, and I’ve pointed out another one. By your own account it’s reasonable to assume it accounts for a good quarter of overcrowded households, and I think you’re being very conservative in your estimate. It’s not unreasonable to point it out.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, it does seem pretty unreasonable to focus on a characteristic of a quarter of a population that might only be tangential to the problem of a dysfunctional housing market.

                      Or to put it another way: even if the parents are, in your estimation, “idiots” and don’t count as what you’d call the deserving poor, why should the kids live in an overcrowded house?

                    • Actually, it does seem pretty unreasonable…

                      It would be pretty unreasonable to treat it as more significant than the dysfunctional housing market, yes.

                      …even if the parents are, in your estimation, “idiots” and don’t count as what you’d call the deserving poor, why should the kids live in an overcrowded house?

                      Even if a small business owner makes a bunch of stupid decisions and goes bankrupt, why should the employees lose their jobs? Our ability to prevent people’s stupidity from affecting other people is finite.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, given that you’re talking to someone who thinks that the government should get the reserve bank to also look at an unemployment rate of 0-3% rather than 6-8% when deciding interest rates, your analogy is a near miss.

                      Our abilities might be finite, but overcrowding (and, for that matter, trans-generational unemployment) are definitely solveable – but only if people care about the suffering of others more than they care about calling the parents or employers “idiots” as if that addresses the probem.

                    • Addressing the problems idiots cause requires first recognising the idiocy. Refusing to recognise the cause effectively equates to ignoring the problem.

                    • McFlock

                      When your “idiots” are associated with a majority of the problem, then you might be on the way to identifying a major cause of the problem.

                      As it is, it merely looks like you are driven by bias and presumption, rather than anything rational.

                    • McFlock

                      yeah but you also think that a problem can be solved if we call a quarter of the affected population “idiots”.

                • batweka

                  That reply makes no sense.

                  1. People have a built-in and pretty powerful urge to reproduce.
                  2. The planet could with a lot fewer people on it, not more.

                  These facts are in conflict.

                  Actually they’re not. Many cultures have intentionally controlled population when they didn’t have the resources to have more people around.

                  A sensible person will seek some useful compromise between evolutionary failure and overpopulating the planet.

                  You are conflating evolution with individual choice. Most people don’t have choose to have children because they’re thinking about the survival of the species.

                  Humans evolved via tribes. The individual drive isn’t as important as you are making out. eg humans developped menopause and that tribes that had non-childbearing women had better survival rates (read up on the Grandmother Hypothesis), because it was the survival and thriving of the group that made the difference.

                  That useful compromise progresses via: no kids, which is an evolutionary fail; one kid, which is risky in evolutionary terms but great in population-reduction terms; two kids, which is still slightly risky but also still just below population replacement level; three kids, which pretty much removes evolutionary risk but increases the population; and upwards of three, which basically says “Fuck the planet, my selfish genes rule!”

                  Your basic premise fails because you have assumed that replacing oneself is ok for the planet. I can’t understand why you would think this, because that’s apparently what you have done. But it’s not true. The only sane way to judge reproduction in an environmental context is to look at what the landbase can support where you live. We are in resource overshoot globally and here in NZ and when the dust settles on that, what’s going to be important to your kids isn’t whether we can import cars from Japan and send milk powder to China, but whether the local watershed they live in can supply the food and other needs for the population that lives there. That’s what AGW and PO are going to do.

                  In that case, you also have to look at whole communities and their ability to function, not just this nuclear family ideal you seem to have. The large Polynesian family you are so disdainful off may have far better community building skills and capacity for work than your 2 adults/2 kids nuclear unit.

                  Instead you’ve taken the global measurement approach. If you really want to do that then we have to be reducing population, in which case you’ve failed by your own morals which makes you a hypocrite as well as a judgemental fuck.

                  I also think you conflate a whole bunch of your personal ideas with evolutionary theory but don’t apply it in the real world.

                  • karol

                    Indeed. And meanwhile, an increasing proportion of Kiwis are living without heating when they need it.

                  • Your basic premise fails because you have assumed that replacing oneself is ok for the planet.

                    Given the level of obviously wrong achieved with that, I’m not going to bother with the rest.

                    • batweka

                      Ok, I’ll take that as a sign that you can’t address the points (not even at a basic level of which bits of that sentence are wrong and why). This does seem to be a pattern, that you don’t clarify in ways that assist communication.

                    • Take it how you like. Other people manage to read my comments without willfully misinterpreting them, and I’m not customising them for you.

                    • batweka

                      Someone else commented the other day asking you to post coherently, so it’s not just me.

                      And if you’re not interested in communicating effectively why do you bother to reply to me?

                      my point still stands. You appear to not be able to address the points raised in this instance.

            • Bill 4.1.1.1.1.2

              How many children living a normal lifestyle in (say) Bangladesh, would it take equal the impact of one child living a normal lifestlye in NZ? Just askin’.

          • sweetd 4.1.1.1.2

            what’s the acceptable number of children?

            A number you and your partner can provide all the necessities of life for.

            • McFlock 4.1.1.1.2.1

              What if your circumstances change after procreation?

              • batweka

                It never fails to amaze me how some people in conversations like this appear to have a complete lack of imagination about what happens in RL. I can understand people not having the direct experience themselves, but really what kind of vacuum do you have to live in to not be able to think how things work for others?

                • greywarshark

                  …some people in conversations like this appear to have a complete lack of imagination about what happens in RL. I can understand people not having the direct experience themselves, but really what kind of vacuum do you have to live in to not be able to think how things work for others?

                  This is how I objectively see many of the population thinking and behaving.

                  The general idea is that you aim to get educated and get to run your life, with a job that pays. You live your life and don’t go under the surface, to plan, think about your life but also how you fit into the whole. Planning and pondering is other people’s work. .

                  You remain unmoved and unaware of the deeper matters of society, you get on with your own business and watch the turmoil others experience with interest and perhaps surprise or annoyance. But you don’t do anything that doesn’t benefit yourself, or isn’t a reaction to something affecting you. You may not limit your number of children because it is your right to have as many as you like, over- population concerns are for those who are trying to interfere with personal rights.

                  Like ants you scurry around following your daily routine with no time allowed for deeper understanding. And because there is a gap in your thinking, a cult leader may come along and fill that gap with some slanted philosophy that captures your heart and mind. And you preen yourself for being a clever human, able to do so much, with so little comprehension of the total picture.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                What if the landlord jacks up the rent on you by $100 pw because he can.

                • batweka

                  Or your marriage ends, or one partner dies, or gets a long term illness/disability, or your job that looked secure for the past decade suddenly disappears, or you get behind on insurance payments and your house burns down, or you live in Chch, or contraceptive failure means you get pregnant again and you can’t bring yourself to have another abortion (or abortion isn’t available where you live). That’s not even close to being a comprehensive list.

                  Methinks sweetd needs to read some Tirado.

            • Sabine 4.1.1.1.2.2

              I wonder how many white, middle class families would start to struggle, once that “Working for Families ” Benefit / Tax shenanigan is removed?

              Just asking.

              i have been told by too many people that they are responsible having three kids, and others are not responsible having three kids.

              But when one asks them if they could afford their children without their partners income i.e. unemployment, or temporary loss of work due to illness they usually don’t give an answer.

              Fact is that accommodation is chosen by its location and affordability. If I have two children and the only apartment that is within my price range is a one bedroom apartment than i will take that 1 bedroom. It beats sleeping in a car. But I will then live in an overcrowded house and would have been irresponsible…but I might have had my children at a time where I had a good paying job living in a three bedroom house.

              It gets to me all the time, that people really believe that circumstances don’t change, and that above all circumstances don’t change on them. They will always be blond, white, middle class, able to afford their mortgage, two cars and three children. Until shit hits the fan….and then they have a right to benefits because they ‘earned’ them. Not like the others that have been irresponsible and who are bludgers.

    • Murray Rawshark 4.2

      I remember you from The Meaning of Life. You’re the Anglican who got his wife pregnant every time they had sex, aren’t you?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifgHHhw_6g8

    • miravox 4.3

      ‘Ridiculously’ large families.

      Maybe you need to look at the causes of this before saying the size of the family itself is the cause of the problem. Aside from genuine maternal/paternal feelings that lead to more kids than a person can afford there’s also:

      – family was complete before a fallout from the 2008 financial crisis so income were lower than planned
      – sudden increase in rental prices because no government has the guts to tackle incentives that skew investment decisions into property
      – houses are not where the jobs are
      – command and control misogyny (barefoot and pregnant)
      – contraception failure/cost etc, etc.
      – community values
      – the family includes fostered or whanau adopted children
      – the children are an investment for a future family wage. Because life is tough, the more kids, the more secure your old age might be. Ironic that keeping people destitute may make this scenario more likely.

      I’m sure there are plenty of other valid reasons for having a large-ish family and that these are not the ’cause’ of overcrowding. However, the problems are greater because of essential issues with the supply of housing like where it is and how much it costs in relation income.

  5. adam 5

    To add to the nightmare Karol, now that work and income have taken over NZ housing – the delays in finding people housing has got worse.

    Who would have guessed a government department, under resourced and full of staff which – well let’s be frank – would struggle with the work loads in the private sector. Can’t organise housing and get the most desperate people into homes.

    It’s an interesting tactic by the these ideologues, we call a government. Make the systems of the state harder and harder to engage with, couple this with underfunding, and a top heavy structure – so they can fulfil an ideological imperative that the state is a failed mechanism and the private sector can can do it better.

    I think Karol, you just highlighted why market solutions are not the answer to very much. The market understands only one thing – greed.

    • Andrea 5.1

      “would struggle with the work loads in the private sector”

      Now which sector of the private sector would that be? And why are they so maximally inept as to tolerate excesses of busy work or overworking staff?

      It’s possibly wrong – but dear old Housing Corp and its previous incarnations seemed to manage quite well.

      And I doubt that there’d be many in the sacred private sector who have to work under the no-choice situation that the Housing people had to work under. Like it or otherwise they have to deal with the difficult and dangerous. Unlike the private sectors (which aren’t as competent and smooth as those who work there like to kid themselves, based on many experiences.)

  6. Treetop 6

    In the last two months I have had three extra summer power bills or two extra winter power bills due to a faulty valve in the hot water cylinder (now fixed). I requested the last six months of power bills to prove to the landlord that there was a fault in the hot water cylinder. Just to get a plumber to the door to say hello, the cost is $75.

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