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Salvation army says no

Written By: - Date published: 6:55 am, March 23rd, 2015 - 48 comments
Categories: housing, Privatisation - Tags: , ,

Where does this leave National’s “social housing” sell-off?

Salvation Army rejects buying state homes: ‘Housing NZ is making a mess’

Social provider admits it lacks ‘expertise, resources’, leaves field open to property developers, financiers.

The Salvation Army has decided against buying state homes off the Government, a blow the Labour Party says is “hugely embarrassing”.

Prime Minister John Key confirmed earlier plans to go through the transfer in January. The plan is to transfer more of the responsibility for housing low-income and vulnerable tenants by selling a portion of housing stock to community providers such as churches, iwi and non-government organisations.

But Major Campbell Roberts, of the Salvation Army, says the church organisation does not believe “the lives of tenants would be sufficiently improved by such a transfer”. Nor did it have the “expertise, infrastructure and resources to successfully manage any social housing transfer of size”, he said.

Financiers and property developers it is then?

48 comments on “Salvation army says no”

  1. Irascible 1

    Such a conclusion was a foregone one as soon as Key launched his asset stripping policy on the Housing Corporation / State Housing stock. The Salvation Army and other social housing groups were never part of the scheme. Instead, watch the big property speculators swarm in to strip the portfolios and then “gentrify” the area and exclude those who once lived there. The examples from the UK should prove this.

    • Grace Miller 1.1

      See the under-reported item:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/67483928/govt-to-ease-exstate-housing-rules

      Government is going to ‘ease’ the requirement (put in an ‘r’ into that ‘ease’ and you’ll see what they’re doing) to make ex-state housing stock stay as low-income-related housing.

      Their houses make them $90 million profit a year, ffs! Why are they selling something that provides social capital, as well as actual capital? (Not a drop in the bucket, that $90 million, but still.) Because they want to sell the stock to property ‘developers’ who will flog them off at extortionate rates, or charge huge rents for them. National all over. Pigs at the trough.

  2. Tracey 2

    Exactly. It is the same bait and switch as “mums and dads” at front of queue for share purchases… during a recession…

    According to Sallies (and others I can’t recall name of ) they had NEVER even been spoken to about it despite this Govt using them as an example in their sales pitches.

    RNZ carried this statement today

    “The Government is expected to begin regional consultation with community housing providers and iwi in April, with commercial negotiations starting in June.”

    This government continues to treat the voters and its voters as complete idiots who will just blindly nod to anything they say no matter how unsubstantiated or downright misleading.

    “The former head of the Cannons Creek Ratepayers’ Association, Bill Hiku, spoke out against the sales when they were first proposed last year.

    He said community groups were being set up to buy the dud social housing stock, so he was not surprised to see the Salvation Army walk away from the offer.

    State houses in Cannons Creek that had been earmarked for sale to the community groups were those without permanent tenants and with construction issues, including asbestos, he said.

    He believed the Government would hold on to the lucrative and well maintained properties.

    “The other half, [that are] not maintained and essentially do not have working families in them – those would have been sent down the road to the likes of the Salvation Army.” RNZ today

    • Jones 2.1

      If the Sallies, iwi or any other socially-focussed organisation are in, they’ll get the crap housing stock with maintenance and construction issues, but if the bankers and private landlords come in, they’ll get the good houses, leaving the State with the duds.

      This is exactly how the financial sector works… reaping the gains from risky bets (privatising the gains) and passing the massive losses on to central banks and taxpayers (socialising the losses), all the while ensuring they clip the ticket on the way through.

      This is yet another opportunity for the bankers to make a commission while asset-stripping the commons.

      • Chris 2.1.1

        I just hope that the Sallies and Campbell Roberts are ditching the scheme because of fundamental philosophical concerns. My guess is that they’re not, which is a worry because until someone stands up to this government’s wholesale removal of state services we’ll continue the slippery ride into deeply entrenched poverty.

  3. RedLogix 3

    The Herald provides the answer:

    Finance Minister Bill English said he wasn’t surprised by the Sallies’ response. He said the Government had full confidence in the proposal and was in talks with other parties, including property developers and people with property finance experience. “We’re taking it pretty slowly and carefully to make sure we all learn how this can be done.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11421462

    Little is quite wrong on this – it’s not back to square one at all. After faffing the Sallies about as fig-leaf – it’s now full steam ahead with a massive State asset sell-off to the private sector.

    Of course Bill English is not surprised.

    • Tracey 3.1

      note english has already had discussions with developers. no one had conversations with sallies or other community providers

      • Treetop 3.1.1

        English wants the paperwork (feasibility on costings) from the Salvation Army which would have been thorough.

  4. TheBlackKitten 4

    If the Sallies, iwi or any other group can’t afford or don’t want to take on the social issues and responsibility that come with state housing then I guess there is no other option but to put them on the market.
    Auckland in particular is very short on housing and I am sure the government would get a good price for all of those three+ bedroom state houses on 1/4 acre sections if they put them to the private market. In particular in the central areas such as Hillsborough and Mt Roskill. These central areas are now no longer affordable to average income earner so it is not fair, responsible or practical to have these homes and this land used for a system such as state housing that has been a dismal failure. Its failure has been in allowing people to sit in them for 40+ years that could and should have moved on years ago to allow another struggling family the same opportunity that they have had to get their feet back on the ground. State housing should have been abolished years ago & replaced with units for the sick and the elderly only who do not have their own homes.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      Earth to sadist: we already know what your sadistic vision looks like.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Auckland in particular is very short on housing

      Selling houses into the private sector so that National’s rich mates can become richer doesn’t change that.

    • Sabine 4.3

      so John Key growing up in a State House is a dismal failure?

      Thanks for finally admitting it – It took you some time.

      And just for clarity, where would you want all the workers of Auckland moved too?

      Really, where are the Nurses, the Office staff, the sales people the cleaners, the bus drivers, Shopkeepers, IT Help Desk staff, the peeps working at Sky Shitty, the guys working in the viaduct – hospitality or in the Office parks, the guys cleaning up the streets, the parks and all the other workers that I am forgetting, where in your mind should they move too?

      • Treetop 4.3.1

        I’d like to know how long Key lived in state housing?

        My guess would be about a decade.

    • adam 4.4

      May God strike you down TheBlackkitten!

      TINA, your saying TINA.

      My goodness it’s the 80’s and the neo-cons are back on the cheap prescriptions.

      What a anemic approach.

      No pensive moments from you?

      Why even try rhetoric, when you have ideology to keep you warm at night?

    • Tracey 4.5

      that will be why english has already spoken to private developers but never to the sallies.

    • Tracey 4.6

      if these go to developers they wont be affordable to your “another struggling family”.

    • Grace Miller 4.7

      How many people do you know who have been in a state house 40+ years? Proof, please.

      It must be so cosy on Planet Key, you mangy furball.

  5. fisiani 5

    Most of the houses will be sold to iwi as planned. Do you really not want Maori to own houses and prefer that they always rent?

    • Skinny 5.1

      Nonsense the sale of state houses was never intended for anyone else other than Nationals mates to cherry pick the cream. Similar weasel words were used of other state assets National flocked off, remember the ma & pa investor snake oil.

      • Sacha 5.1.1

        I’d rather iwi invested productively in education, training, business development and suchlike, not wasteful residential property. Some will probably relent, as part of the price for being in govt’s good books for other opportunities.

        • AsleepWhileWalking 5.1.1.1

          I agree. Residential property is an exceptionally bad use of iwi resources, and it won’t go up in price indefinitely.

    • DoublePlusGood 5.2

      I’d rather state houses be available for New Zealanders that need them, not sold off for private profit.

      • AsleepWhileWalking 5.2.1

        This was after all the original idea behind HNZ – to provide housing for the disadvantaged in the rental market. I can’t see developers or a (greedy?/mismanaged?/unaccountable?) iwi necessarily acting for the public good.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Financiers and property developers it is then?

    Right where National planned it to be. Just another give away of our wealth to National’s rich mates to make them richer at our expense.

  7. heather 7

    The Salvation Army were never going to fall all into the trap.
    This clears the way for the houses to be sold to the hungry developers, they are waiting in the wings, I can hear their lips smacking.
    I notice down the road from where I live there are about 5 old state houses been moved onto a tiny section, this will be a taste of things to come.
    It is shameful.

  8. vto 8

    get rid of housing for the poor, handouts for the farmers

    get rid of housing for the poor, money for rio tinto

    get rid of housing for the poor, subsidise a casino

  9. Sabine 9

    where it always was supposed to end up in the hand of private developpers and maybe some of the new mega churches….surely they will have the money.

    anyone who thought that the Sally were going into to the social housing market – I have ten bridges to see to you in Northland.

    If the Sally Army would have wanted to be in the social housing business they would have expressed a interest. but they did not.

    gosh….eventually really the penny needs to drop.

  10. Sabine 10

    Auckland is not short of housing,

    Auckland is full of speculators. In the street that I have my shop i have watched certain houses go for the 4th time on the market in less then two years. – The house is not tenanted. It has been empty for each sale. The signs go up like clock work.

    The house across from my shop, sold in November, empty since, gone on the Chinese Market last week Friday…..no sign up, no real estate engaged, only Chinese coming (90% of houses sold in our street have been sold to chinese) through for viewing, after five…:) I expect the house to sell, be empty and go back on the market in 4-8 weeks.
    If house prices raise an average 1000 per week….housing speculation sure beats working.

    • adam 10.1

      “Auckland is not short of housing”

      We are short of houses – including those not occupied. Even having them occupied – we’d still be short of houses.

      Your following statements to point out a major issue/problem with the Auckland housing crisis. Indeed there are a lot of empty houses. If I had my way, many of the houses on the cliff tops in the north shore would be full of families, rather than one or two individuals.

      I do wonder when people will start squatting – makes sense in this environment.

      • AsleepWhileWalking 10.1.1

        We already have people living in tents in Miramar, people opting to raise kids in caravans in Porirua. Squatting is a move up but less stable.

        NZ is not short of housing, but our residential property market is overvalued. This IMHO is due to the shift from HNZ to Accommodation Supplement which was pitched as a way to give low income earners choice in accommodation. HNZ on the other hand was intended to support those disadvantaged in the housing market (as opposed to just low income earners, or middle income earners now trapped in a housing market out of control).

        The single biggest force making housing unaffordable was the implimentation of the Accommodation Supplement. The cure for high prices is high prices, not further supplementation.

        • DH 10.1.1.1

          There is a housing shortage, in Auckland particularly. You can always tell the status of housing supply by watching rents. Rents only go up when demand exceeds supply.

        • Treetop 10.1.1.2

          1.2 b a year is paid out in AS. Yep you get it that landlords get the govt bucks to buy more property and a low income person is at the mercy of rent rises and choosing which shitty dwelling they can bare to occupy because that is all that they can just about afford.

          HNZ always worked up until this govt started destroying it. NOTHING productive has been done by National in 6.5 years and NOTHING productive will get done in the next 2.5 years.

  11. DH 11

    This is clearly a crock because the numbers don’t add up for community housing. Private sector housing investors in the big cities are only able to make a return from capital gain, community housing providers can’t so they’d never be able to finance the deals unless the cash was donated or the houses sold to them at well below market rates.

    From the investment perspective it’s quite simple maths;

    Borrowed money costs around 6% so a $500k property has to return a minimum of $30k annually, plus outgoings such as rates, insurance, depreciation and maintenance. That would equate to about $650-700 per week in rent, if rent provided the sole return on money invested. $500k houses in Auckland are renting out at around $400-450 per week, the rest of the investment yield being provided by inflation.

    The only system the Govt can use here is for the community housing providers to charge market rents and the Govt will give them a rebate determined by the level of need of the tenant. Without capital gain market rents can’t fund the houses unless the providers have wads of zero-cost funding (which they don’t).

    It’s obvious that developing the state house land is the objective here.

    • greywarshark 11.1

      The word nouveau riche comes to mind for what happens when parliament doors creak open for the ‘lower orders’. The sort of people who get in are ambitious and channelled along the materialist, self-serving line, and they adopt the attitudes of the moneyed and the aristocrats, and so we often don’t get any better representation from the ‘people’ than before.

      Some of the ‘people’ who get in just repeat the need for charity and come across more as adept beggars for the welfare society than active thinkers as to how the poorer and disadvantaged in society can achieve inclusion and an honoured place as a contributor in some fashion. Then they are regarded as irresponsible budget-breakers and part of the problem not part of the solution for the low income group.

      For instance the children of old Labour who have gone to university and acquired higher learning, often leave their own past and their parents’ moral compass behind them. Like students getting their degrees in foreign lands who don’t return to benefit their own people, finding the returns in the more prosperous nations more seductive.

      Many unionist leaders, use the term rank and file to refer to the fee paying workers who support them in their role as representatives for the working people. And for many, as soon as they climb out of their old trucks and jalopies and into the groomed vehicles of the negotiators and dealers of the elite, they start shedding their workmates and poorer-class interests like autumn leaves.

      • DH 11.1.1

        “And for many, as soon as they climb out of their old trucks and jalopies and into the groomed vehicles of the negotiators and dealers of the elite, they start shedding their workmates and poorer-class interests like autumn leaves.”

        Sadly you’re right there.

        Only have to look at housing to prove your point. I’d wager not one in a hundred property owners would be prepared to give up their capital gains in order to make housing more affordable. They’ll bleat about the housing crisis, pretend to care, but when push comes to shove they won’t give up their unearned gains.

        Every MP owns property and they’re a venal lot so the chances of them ever bringing in policies that lower their own property values is about zero.

        • Colonial Rawshark 11.1.1.1

          Well, they can bring in ineffective policies to ineffectively lower their own property values. A few units of “cheap” $450,000 privately built housing etc.

          • DH 11.1.1.1.1

            They’ll do what they’ve always done. Use taxpayers money to subsidise rents & mortgages.

            There’s only two possible means of making housing more affordable; give people more money or lower the price of houses.

            Ask a Labour or National politician this before the next election : “Are you going to lower property values?”

            At heart everyone knows they’re not going to lower property values yet no-one will come out and admit it. Everyone pretends, it’s all a big farce.

    • tc 11.2

      like in GI akl already, anyone compared the quality of these new builds with what went before them.

  12. infused 12

    Can’t we just send all the poor to Gore?

    • NZJester 12.1

      If you send the poor to Gore there will be no-one left to do any of the essential daily Jobs.
      I don’t think the rich will be willing to do all those essential jobs such as cart the rubbish to the landfill, mow their own lawns and make them their Starbucks coffee etc.

  13. coaster 13

    if no groups like the salvation army are not interested, then they should go on the market with mum and dad investors with citizenship offered first choice.

    would not fix the lack of social housing, but at least the houses would go ba k to the masses if you had one purchase per person.

    • tc 13.1

      What like the power generators did/sarc

    • millsy 13.2

      Better yet – sell them to tenants using rent to buy. Home ownership is probably the best way out of poverty.

      Sell them to mum and dad landlords rents will only just spiral up.

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