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Who would have thunk that Government’s approach to housing is inadequate

Written By: - Date published: 10:46 am, March 2nd, 2017 - 34 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, democracy under attack, housing, national, paula bennett, Politics, radio, same old national - Tags:

Another example of fine reporting work by Radio New Zealand emerged this morning.

Its intrepid reporters have, with the assistance of the Ombudsman, unearthed a report which said that the Government’s approach to social and affordable housing is fragmented and lacks a robust plan.

From the Radio New Zealand website:

The external review of the Social Housing Reform Programme noted that, in Auckland, three ministers and four government agencies lacked an overall plan to boost housing supply.

It found the government needed to “increase the overall supply of housing, particularly in Auckland”.

In the review, consultants Leonie Freeman and Michael Miles looked at the government’s aim to provide social housing largely by paying providers.

They found the target of providing 65,000 income-related rent subsidy places by mid-next year lacked a robust plan. They noted problems with monitoring progress.

The report expressed concern about progress in clarifying Housing New Zealand’s role in the new community housing market.

“Decisions are yet to be taken on the Boston Consulting Group review of HNZC’s ongoing role and structure – these decisions are critical.”

The review recommended a Social Housing Programme office, which would answer to key ministers and establish a single agency to manage property sales and the redevelopment of Crown land.

The decision to withhold the report was extremely cynical. The use of the grounds advanced by Paula Bennett, that to release it would “prejudice the quality of information received” and “the wider public interest of effective government would not be served” is contemptible. Using this rationale no review report would ever be released. Having a review cause a Government political embarrassment because of its totally inadequate efforts should never be justification for withholding a report paid for by the public.

And the Government needs to get on with the job, borrow another of Labour’s policies and start building.  Paying third party providers money to keep existing beds open and calling them new beds is not going to do anything for people facing the effects of the housing crisis.

34 comments on “Who would have thunk that Government’s approach to housing is inadequate ”

  1. Bunji 1

    Just utterly shocking, cynical, out-of-ideas government.

    There’s no defending this. It’s abuse of power, and good on the Ombudsman for standing up and being counted (although I’m sure that will result in further underfunding of a weakened institution)

    Paula Bennett cannot be trusted with the reins of power. Illegally holding information because it’s embarrassing to the government is a striking contrast to her nastily handing out information on anyone who dares speak up against or highlight her disastrous policies. (Te Puia Marae, beneficiaries etc).

    • tc 1.1

      They aren’t out of ideas, they never intended to fix it as it was the sugar rush they wanted to create an illusion of economic growth and prosperity.

      no cgt, open door immigration, no restrictions on speculative and offshore buying, tax havens and boom off she went with expected consequences especially in akl.

      Bennetts doing what nact have always done, suppress the truth if it’s not to your liking, diffuse, spin, misdirect, bluster bs and eventually bully anyone who questions it.

      Jacinda gets to land a few easy blows if she’s capable as housing, education, health and cost/quality of power/water impacts every kiwi one way or another.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        Bennetts doing what nact have always done, suppress the truth if it’s not to your liking, diffuse, spin, misdirect, bluster bs and eventually bully anyone who questions it.

        QFT

        National have to lie because reality never matches their beliefs.

    • NZJester 1.2

      Don’t forget the fast track this government has of anything that makes the opposition look bad. Even informing their attack dogs what to ask for in their OIA request so they can get it out super fast.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    We really shouldn’t be surprised by this. This government only rules to enrich the already rich. It does that by redirecting taxpayers money to the rich through subsidies and ‘market mechanisms’ which cost more than if the government simply did them itself but don’t achieve the desired result.

    The inevitable result is a poorly governed country.

  3. Sacha 3

    “the grounds advanced by Paula Bennett, that to release it would “prejudice the quality of information received” and “the wider public interest of effective government would not be served”
    … are also well-established by previous Ombudsmen’s rulings to not be qualifying grounds under the OIA unless it’s advice to a Minister, not to a public servant (Treasury boss in this case). Govt knowingly taking the piss again with no systemic consequences.

  4. Philj 4

    What housing crisis Bill? You got away with 100 % pure organic effluent for far too long. I cannot see a brighter future.

  5. Keith 5

    I think National really do care about rental subsidies. It’s the quid pro quo for its backers and its only taxpayer money being paid out to parasite investors anyway. And to deal with this scam would see the whole investor class fall over which is of maximum concern to National. Oh and the addition of 10’s of thousands of homeless is a situation that could embarrass them and being embarrassed is also of maximum concern to them.

    But I honestly do not think they care about people living in social housing as they think of them as sub human anyway and only appear to give a damn when RNZ exposed working people living in cars and kids trying to do their homework by the map light of a Toyota Estima.

    To interpret Bill and Paula’s views of the world, these people don’t need houses as there’s an endless supply of student visa holders from 3rd world countries who can replace these drugged up sorts in the work place.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      +111

    • Wayne 5.2

      The accommodation supplement has existed for thirty years, under both Labour and National.

      Are you proposing ending it?

      If so, you will have to say how you intend to help low income earners with their housing costs. Most can’t afford market rents without financial assistance for this specific cost.

      Is it your view that all rental housing for low income earners should be provided by Housing New Zealand at discounted rates, often around $100 per week.

      If so you need to say how Housing New Zealand is going to acquire around 200,000 new houses. I guess you could nationalise all private rentals where there is an accommodation supplement. I imagine it will only cost about $60 billion to buy 200,000 houses at an average price of $300,000.

      Your other option is rent control, but how many houses would still remain on the rental market if rents were capped at say $200 per week?

      I think you will find all governments over the last thirty years have looked at this issue. They all end up at the same place they started.

      If you want private landlords to provide housing for low income earners then you need a rent subsidy, because that is what the accommodation supplement is.

      • stever 5.2.1

        With rent control….where would those houses no longer up for rental go once they are off the rental market?

        I presume they’d be sold. What would then happen to the market when they all flooded on?

        Might that supply-side movement help bring house prices down?

        Or what?

      • Muttonbird 5.2.2

        Landlord whose are receiving a rent subsidy should be held to different conditions as a social housing provider. They should have to accept long term leases if that’s what the tenant wants and they should have to provide housing at a very high standard with respect to heating, insulation, and maintenance. If they intend to sell from under the tenant then they must sell to a first home buyer and the existing tenant must have first right of refusal.

      • greg 5.2.3

        no you are wrong cut the subsidy stop the foreign buyers start kiwi build and let the market correct itself back the real income levels and if the speculators go under so be it.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.4

        If you want private landlords to provide housing for low income earners then you need a rent subsidy, because that is what the accommodation supplement is.

        Then obviously we don’t want to have private landlords providing housing to low income people.

        Really, it’s simply a lot better for the government to build enough houses and rent them out at a small percentage of income. No subsidy to greedy rich pricks then.

      • lprent 5.2.5

        If so you need to say how Housing New Zealand is going to acquire around 200,000 new houses.

        Do it the same way that housing nz built up their stock in the first place. Build them.

        The reason why houses were built by the state in the first place was because the private sector produces insufficient expensive poor quality houses designed to maximize their profit. As well as the direct benefits of state providing housing rather than having people sleeping rough, it also effectively provided scales of economy to building houses.

        That pushed the cost of housing down.

        Of course National in their usual role of being ideologically driven idiots broke that system in the 1990s.

        Building houses will be far better value than providing ever increasing housing supplements.

        • Wayne 5.2.5.1

          Fair enough. But it will take several years to make real impact.
          And I am pretty sure Labour does not to fully replace the private market, even for low income earners. Too many variables of living circumstances.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.5.1.1

            The country needs to put an end to low quality housing, not low income housing. None shall mourn the passing of National’s rheumatic fever factories. Some will find themselves unable to compete with public capital, while others will fall foul of improved building standards.

            I like the idea of binding long-term leases too, to sabotage any further National Party vandalism before it starts.

          • North 5.2.5.1.2

            “Fair enough” – Wayne to lprent. Like acknowledging……being the reasonable man. Then (effectively)……”it’ll never happen”. Can you lie straight in bed Wayne ? True answer is…….”We don’t want it to happen……” lprent’s right – “Of course National in their usual role of being ideologically driven idiots broke that system in the 1990s.” That’s you Wayne. From your highly privileged position you just don’t give a fuck. Except about people like you. Fairly contemptible really.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.2.5.1.3

            But it will take several years to make real impact.

            But that would still be infinitely faster at providing affordable housing than what National are doing.

            And I am pretty sure Labour does not to fully replace the private market, even for low income earners.

            Yes, Labour are still fully supportive of the cancerous private sector.

            Too many variables of living circumstances.

            Nope. Too many politicians owned by or are part of the rentier class of people.

            Build houses and don’t care if rich people will be able to be bigger rentiers or not. It’s really that simple.

      • North 5.2.6

        Punchy segue there Spittley Wayne ! Shocked by the Ombudsman finding Paula Bennett’s rationalisation for not releasing the report ‘misconceived’ (like, bullshit), are we ?

        Bennett is trash. Thank God for Peter Boshier I say.

        Here’s an idea. How about the National Party’s “investors” being told to fuck off, stop raping the poor, and stop bludging off the state. Oh, sorry, no votes for the National Party from the wannabe bastards who rampage through South Auckland attending to their ‘rentals’. Then driving away cackling derisively about the schmucks who’ll make their retirement. How silly of me.

        I can just see you chortling away at the Northern Club Wayne. Getting the proper gentlemens’ equivalent of the high-five for your ‘presence’ on TS.

        Address the report you dog.

      • Sacha 5.2.7

        “help low income earners with their housing costs”

        Gee, I guess a govt could act to help raise incomes?

  6. Sacha 6

    This govt have had since late 2015 to do something about the matters highlighted in the report – including measuring progress – yet only a couple of weeks ago they couldn’t even agree on the size of the housing shortfall. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/news/article.cfm?c_id=8&objectid=11799899

  7. If one tries to remind National supporters that housing is a human right, they say “no it is not and if you cannot afford the rent, you should not be in the market”.

    It seems to not matter that housing is a human right if you are a National supporter.

  8. repateet 8

    Bill English is a genius.

    “Bill English: Wellington rental squeeze ‘problem of success’, not a crisis”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/89979644/bill-english-wellington-rental-squeeze-problem-of-success-not-a-crisis

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Oh, FFS, these National Party people are really turning on the spin and lies now to try to distract from the fact that they’re failing the country.

  9. Muttonbird 9

    Dr Nick, Benefit, Dildo, Double-Dipper, and smile ‘n’ wave Key all spoke of “comprehensive” plans for housing.

    Turns out their efforts at housing are what we all saw, and that is a dog’s-dinner.

    • Tamati Tautuhi 9.1

      Housing is a dogs breakfast, little rat boxes in Auckland going for $1.0 million, rampant house price inflation due to mass immigration and speculative offshore buying?

      I honestly can not see how this is good for New Zealanders unless you have rose tinted glasses on?

  10. Michael 10

    Of course, National’s social housing policy is wicked; no wonder Bennett tried to hide the report. The real question is what, if anything, would a Labour government do that is any different? Will it continue to run Housing NZ as a cash cow, channeling rental income into the general coffers, or will it require HNZ to spend that money on maintaining existing homes and building new ones? Will Labour continue the bullshit “income-related rents” policy for “some” HNZ tenants, or will it genuinely cap social housing rents for all tenants (if people are rich, they shouldn’t need social housing in the first place)? Labour’s 2014 social housing policy was a crock; here’s hoping for something better, and more honest, this time around, although it doesn’t look likely.

    • Muttonbird 10.1

      Amazing that you easily slip into an attack on Labour when this is about the current government’s failure to do what it is supposed to do by definition; to govern.

  11. invisiphilia 11

    Paula Bennett is and always has been the mistress of double-speak, a ruthless social climber and consummute politician of the worst kind. She has never cared about the poor people of New Zealand and is only ever interested in massaging the facts. To say the Nats are “out of ideas” is incorrect. They never had a clue about what is really going on for a whole sector of NZ society, nor do they care.

  12. Penny Bright 12

    Who in Parliament is going to ask Prime Minister Bill English the HARD questions about how come 2,800 former HNZ properties in Glen Innes were NEVER transferred to the Tamaki Redevelopment Company Ltd, (59% Crown / 41% Auckland Council) – but Tamaki Regeneration Ltd (100% Crown)?

    Given that Bill English as Minister of Finance was a 29.5% shareholder of
    Tamaki Redevelopment Company Ltd, and a 50% shareholder in Tamaki Regeneration Ltd – he must have known what was going on?

    So – what happened to Auckland Council’s 41% shareholding in $1.6 billion worth of 2,800 former HNZ properties?

    On what lawful basis did it effectively completely ‘evaporate’, and WHY??

    How did Tamaki Regeneration Ltd become the lawful owner of 14 Taniwha St Wai O Taki Bay, (where Niki Rauti is making such a brave and determined stand against the privatisation of State housing) – let alone the ‘landlord’?

    How is this not a major ‘scam’?

    Which involves both Bill English and housing?

    Where is / was the ‘transparency’?

    Where is / was the ‘lawful due process’?

    Who is going to ‘pick up the ball’ in Parliament next week, and start asking some stinking hard questions?

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-privatisation / anti-corruption campaigner’.

    • Sacha 12.1

      “what happened to Auckland Council’s 41% shareholding in $1.6 billion worth of 2,800 former HNZ properties?”

      How did Council come to have that shareholding? What did they invest?

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