The Jackal: January 2015

28 Jan 2015

Nationals housing failure

After some bad press about the cost of living in New Zealand, the National party is looking at ways to recover the upper hand on social policy initiatives.

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

State of the Nation: John Key's plan to boost housing

The Government's stated goal last term was for 20 per cent of the country's social housing to be provided by non-government organisations by 2017.

It has extended subsidies to approved social housing providers, which allows them to charge income-related rents (no more than 25 per cent of net income) for people with high needs in the same way that Housing New Zealand does.

It has also introduced reviewable tenancies to get away from any expectation that a state house is for life.

"We are taking these new approaches in social housing because we don't think the old system worked as well as it could do for tenants or indeed for taxpayers," Mr Key said yesterday after his first Cabinet meeting of the year.

It appears that Nationals "solution" is to increase competition for existing private housing stock while selling off around 13,600 Housing NZ's houses to private institutions, which are worth approximately $18.6 billion in total.

This asset sale will assuredly do nothing about New Zealand’s declining home ownership rate and lack of affordable quality housing. In fact it will make things worse by exerting even more pressure on the overheated private housing market.

Mr Key is today expected to outline ways for approved housing providers to increase their social housing stock.

"Our focus has been on getting a more diverse and fairer housing system that works better for tenants."

Of course National’s real policy is to ensure that those currently renting are trapped in the poverty cycle forever, whereby they can never hope to save enough for a deposit on their own home. Clearly increasing competition in the private sector will push prices further out of reach.

John Key’s latest window dressing policy suits National’s secret agenda perfectly; by ensuring that the pool of renters increases thereby ensuring profits for their property speculator mates continue to flow unabated.

Mr Key said there was no housing "crisis" and the Government's policies were aimed at increasing supply.

John Key doesn’t think the current housing problem is a crisis because he’s a deluded fool! Clearly the increased competition, both domestic and international, for investment property ensures that many Kiwis will miss out.

This group of people includes baby boomers who weren’t lucky enough to purchase a house when the prices were comparatively low. They include generation X Y and Z who are struggling to save a deposit because of low wages and the high cost of living. These Kiwis generally vote, which makes housing one of the biggest political issues of today.

To continue to expect this large group of people to compete with speculators, government backed private institutions and international property investors, some having access to unlimited resources, is quite simply idiotic!

The policy changes that National is proposing will ensure that more New Zealander’s become tenants without hope of ever attaining the Kiwi dream of home ownership. It will ensure the continued degradation and over-inflation of our housing stock.