There is a desperate need for state housing in NZ. Headlines from the last year include:
State Housing waiting lists go through the roof
More living in cars as rents go through roof
Families in urgent need of state housing waiting twice as long – Labour
National claims that state houses are “in the wrong place or were the wrong size”. Rubbish:
Govt’s state housing claims wrong – Little
Labour is challenging the Government’s claim that a third of state houses are either the wrong size or in the wrong place.
Housing spokesman Phil Twyford says Housing NZ’s annual report, released today, contradicts that.
“The annual report states 96 percent of state houses are in the right places to meet demand, and 89 percent have the right number of bedrooms,” he said.
“Ministers have been making up numbers to justify their plan to sell of thousands of state houses.”
National are selling state houses (1) to try and improve their disastrous balance sheet (the tax cut bribe of 2008 has had them on the back foot ever since), (2) because they want out of the responsibility for taking care of the poor, and (3) because selling stuff that other people built is what they do.
The sell off is going every bit as well as Nick Smith’s roundup of Auckland housing land. The Salvation Army dropped out, other charities would not participate unless the houses were given to them for free. The Nats are apparently so desperate to find buyers that:
State houses may be sold to Australians
Appearing on TV3’s The Nation this morning, Finance Minister Bill English said it was possible state houses could be sold to an Australian company.
A Gold Coast non-profit charity, Horizon Housing, had visited New Zealand this week to look at the houses. It was interested in possibly buying at least 400 state houses.
How is an Australian company motivated to improve housing outcomes for NZ’s poor? How does selling state houses to an Australian company address the housing crisis in this country? Labour’s Phil Twyford:
“Bill English should face reality and admit his state house sell off policy has collapsed. The Salvation Army didn’t want a bar of it. Iwi leaders said they’d only take them if they got them for free.
“Now Bill English is so desperate to keep his failed policy afloat that he’ll even flick the houses off to the Aussies,” he said.
English needs to explain why the government can’t find NZ buyers for their “social housing” plans. The Nats to explain how selling state houses helps a single family in need.