Destroying State Housing | The Jackal

3 Oct 2011

Destroying State Housing

We all know that National MP's have very little empathy for the poor. In just one term of governance, National has managed to profoundly disadvantage them by markedly increasing inequality.

Increases in basic living costs such as food, power, petrol and rent have been much greater than the increases in benefits and basic wages, meaning that living standards have decreased and families have been placed under greater pressures.

This inevitably creates more family and social disintegration and increases negative outcomes such as youth suicide, which remains the highest amongst OECD countries. Youth from poor families are twice as likely to take their own lives in New Zealand, however through their archaic policies, National ensures that 200,000 children continue to live in poverty.

Such negative consequences are clearly the result of uncaring politicians and their budget cuts, which increases poverty levels amongst the already poor. Despite the clear evidence, National continues to undertake policy that directly disadvantages a largely unrepresented section of the community.

In July this year and at the behest of Phil Heatley, Housing NZ sent out letters to everybody waiting for a state house:
Changes to who will get a state house

All applicants on our waiting list are currently categorized as A ,B, C and D, depending on their level of housing need. In future, only A and B applicants, who are in the greatest need of housing, will be placed on the waiting list.

From now on new C and D applicants will be assisted through Housing New Zealand's Options and Advice service, and recorded on a housing need register.
But it's not just a harsher criteria that ensures the poor do not get the help they need. National is using any excuse they can to actively move people out of their homes:
"I did not expect to be told we had to be out by the middle of next year. We are pretty gutted it's going to happen. We can see along the beach and the river but it's not so much the view. My kids have grown up here and we have grown into this community," said Mr Leigh Andrews.
On the 28 September The Gisbourne Herald reported:
In July, Housing Minister Phil Heatley announced that Housing New Zealand was to tighten up its criteria and provide housing only for people with extreme needs, whose tenancies would be subject to regular reviews.

Those with lower housing needs (“C and D priority applicants”) would be referred to “other types’’ of housing, largely in the private sector.

As a result, the local state house waiting list was cut by 82 percent on July 1, despite many of those people having significant housing needs, said Ms Mackey.
 A couple of days ago Socialist Aotearoa reported:
News that 156 families of state house tenants are due to be evicted in Glen Innes, Auckland is cause for serious concern.

In Gisborne, anti-poverty campaigner and city councillor Manu Caddie, 'says he has already counted a dozen empty homes in his neighbourhood while Housing New Zealand says it has a waiting list with dozens of families on it.'
And in August TVNZ reported:
Twenty-seven houses have been demolished on Farmer Crescent to date, with another 61 to go by the end of the year - nearly a third of the street's houses.

There is no doubt that National is destroying New Zealand's state housing, which was meant to help the most disadvantaged... even Phil Heatley tells us so with this Freudian slip: