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Press editorial on failed state house sell-off

Written By: - Date published: 1:09 pm, December 3rd, 2016 - 11 comments
Categories: class war, housing, national - Tags: , , ,

An editorial in The Press almost nails the failed state housing sell-off:

Editorial: state house sales a failed scheme

The Government’s sell-off of state housing has not exactly been a runaway success so far. A plan to “diversify” community housing ownership by ensuring at least one-fifth are not Goverment-owned has been quietly dropped and schemes to find local buyers failed spectacularly in both Invercargill and Horowhenua.

Quite apart from the ugly symbolism of a government offloading state houses in the midst of a housing crisis, it appears that local charitable providers could not be convinced that taking on the properties made either ideological or economic sense, although the Government said in August it had found a buyer for 1124 state houses in Tauranga.

Still, the Government is pressing on with its unpopular and mostly unsuccessful policy. Housing New Zealand Minister Bill English announced on Thursday that the next target of its Social Housing Reform Programme (SHRP) would be Christchurch where between 2000 and 2500 HNZ properties would be “transferred”, assuming the Government can find the right buyer.

English says that a private provider would doing a better job of fixing up these homes than the state and that the Government is just “not that good at property development”.

Really? It is hard not to feel dismayed by the dreary lack of ambition revealed by that and other statements from English and to wonder whether the Government is simply washing its hands of one of its most important and central roles.

It’s more than a “dreary lack of ambition”, it’s a deliberate plan to underfund / rundown the stock to “justify” selling off, so that the Nats can indeed “wash their hands” of their obligations.

11 comments on “Press editorial on failed state house sell-off ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    I think it’s time for us to make it clear that people have a right to a home and that if they can’t afford one then the government will make one for them.

  2. jcuknz 2

    But can the government afford to do it either?
    What will they not do?
    Not repair SH1?
    cut elective surgery?
    I completely agree that it is a governments responsibility to house their population but what has to go for that to happen?
    The rot has been going on for decades with a lack of gradual building up and repairing the state house stock with money going to ‘balance the books’ and cut taxes.
    While this lot have had eight years to do something about it …so did for an equal time did the previous government …. this is not political but a moral problem as all current politicians grasp the new way of thinking at the expense of their people.
    Folk on ‘right blogs’ chortle that socialism is on the way out while enjoying the poor shade that is left.
    I wonder what will make people vote for responsibility,
    For that matter is there a party currently wishing to be other than financial responsible to the detriment of the population..
    Sadly I do not think so.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      Raise the top tax rate. Enforce tax collection. Destroy the tax haven and confiscate the proceeds of crimes held in trusts set up by Whitney and his ilk. Add a CGT.

      Treat tax evaders and their lickspittle apologists like common criminals.

      Nine years of surpluses, net government debt zero. You can dribble on about financial responsibility when you’ve got some to show.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      I completely agree that it is a governments responsibility to house their population but what has to go for that to happen?

      Low tax rates on the rich and the loopholes that they use to avoid paying tax.

    • millsy 2.3

      Use the millions squirreled away in ACC and the NZ Super Fund to build a huge state housing project. Simple.

      Another option is to wind back WFF and plunge the money saved into building up the state housing stock. Seeing as those payments largely go on rent anyway, the same outcome will be achieved.

      • KATATTACK 2.3.1

        Winding back WFF would not be feasible. The majority of people who rely on WFF which is essentially a wage subsidy would suffer. It would essentially be getting struggling families to subsidise housing for others.

  3. Dean Reynolods 3

    From 1936, Labour used cheap Reserve Bank credit to finance State House building. National said it was economic lunacy, but in fact it worked brilliantly. For God’s sake, let’s repeat the successes of the past instead of indulging in right wing BS like, ‘where’s the money coming from?’

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      There’s a reason why the rich keep telling us that we have to pay them to use our own resources. See, if we start using Sovereign Money as we should be then rich people will no longer be needed and they will be forced to actually work and provide services rather than have the usury that they get now.

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