UN housing expert calls on Government to break rank from its predecessors and stop promoting home ownership as an investment

UN housing expert calls on Government to break rank from its predecessors and stop promoting home ownership as an investment

A United Nations (UN) housing expert has dubbed New Zealand’s housing crisis a “human rights crisis”, and is calling on the Government to consider imposing a capital gains tax and rent freezes.

Concluding a 10-day long investigation into housing in New Zealand, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, Leilani Farha, said: “It is not clear to me that the Government has pursued all options to address the housing crisis.

“It will take courage and new ideas, and it may require taking what are perceived as politically unpopular decisions, such as imposing a capital gains tax on the sale of residential properties, rent freezes, innovative uses of vacant homes, and tighter regulation of short-term rental platforms.”

Farha, whose visit was organised by the Government, said the Government had taken important steps to improve the country’s housing problems, but a more “ambitious, innovative and courageous” approach was needed to address the root causes.

“At the root of the crisis is a speculative housing market that has been supported by successive governments who have promoted home ownership as an investment, while until recently discontinuing the provision of social housing and providing inadequate tenant protection,” she said.

“When one in every hundred people is homeless, half of whom are under 25 years; when thousands are living in vehicles or housed in motels provided by the State; when houses are in such disrepair that they cause otherwise preventable illness and disease; and when middle income earners are finding it difficult to afford an accessible and decent home, the result is not just a housing crisis, it is a human rights crisis of significant proportions.

“These conditions indicate not only violations of the right to housing, but also of the right to health, security and life.”

Farha said the situation hit the most marginalized the hardest: Māori, Pacific peoples, people with disabilities, single parents, LGBTQI+, immigrants and others.  

“A human rights crisis demands a human rights response. The Government must recognise in national law that housing is a fundamental human right requiring legal protection,” she said.

“In my view New Zealand must also adopt a comprehensive rights-based housing strategy that focuses on structural changes and that sets short- and long-term targets and establishes monitoring and accountability mechanisms.  

“It is encouraging that the Waitangi Tribunal will undertake a housing inquiry. I would hope that the inquiry would be informed by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which provides a right to be actively involved in housing programmes affecting them and to administer those through their own institutions.”

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28
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This 'expert' is criminally negligent - the immense harm of rent freezes, for starters, is basic econ 101.

The UN seems to specialise in doing most harm to those groups it believes its trying to save. It's a failed monstrosity of an institution.

I have no idea why this charlatan is getting so much attention. Laughable.

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'Criminally negligent' is subjective. While I understand what you say about rent freezes, try another shoe on for size. Banks are able to issue mortgage credit through lending that credit into existence. It's a privilege only a few institutions have nor is it really understood by the general public. If someone said that the ruling elite were 'criminally negligent' for enabling this, what would you say?

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They, and central banks with their negligent and immoral stimulunacy, destroying savings and the elderly, supporting the bedrock of inequality via deliberately inflated asset values, indeed, blowing an asset bubble that will cause unparalleled human suffering in the West when reality finally reasserts itself, the most suffering since WWII, are all criminally negligent (and anathema to a free market and a free society).

In this case, criminally negligent is not subjective: communism and the advocacy against property rights, is by any objective standard, criminal negligence which will cause great harm because we know from reality (history and economic theory) of the harm of these measures against renters.

Look at my comments: I know how banking works.

Capitalism may have similar consequences in the long run (in a neoliberal construct). I guess we’re just starting to see the ugly side of the system that Reagan and Thatcher said would deliver us from the evils of communism

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Where's a capitalist system with free markets and small states? Seriously, where?

It doesn't exist any more than the oft tossed 'neoliberal' has any meaning.

I'm out of this thread: it will just piss me off too much: dealing with communists always does. Ciao.

Love ya Twitter feed mate.

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I’m a fan of living and dying by the sword. So if we want to call democratic socialism, communism that’s fine. But if you’re a fan of free markets, then let’s stop all accommodation supplements and welfare payments for the next few years and see who whinges the most - the landlord or the tenant.

Cut income taxes while we’re at it

I guess the tenant can't whinge if theyre dead lol

Get back to small govt.. just the basics, healthcare policing and education. Just today people have been requesting govt to provide sanitary pads! Get off the grass

No one 'won' the cold war... it's just taking purest capitalism longer to implode.

I like to think of capitalism/neo liberalism like an accelerator and socialism like the steering wheel - if you try and have just one you either end up driving into a ditch at high speed or pointed in the right direction and not going anywhere...

In this case, criminally negligent is not subjective: communism and the advocacy against property rights, is by any objective standard, criminal negligence which will cause great harm because we know from reality (history and economic theory) of the harm of these measures against renters.

I think you're just expressing your own fears about what 'communism' is. Both Japan and Singapore have a housing sector that comprises targeted accommodation with 'rental caps'. The property is owned by the state and the private sector. It has probably done more good than harm in providing stable accommodation for those who through no fault of their own cannot particpate in 'the market.'

Singapore built concrete boxes on some of the least desirable land in the nation and the "poor" were willing to live there. NZ has many empty state houses, it is just that no one wants to live where those houses are.

Nonsense. 80% of Singaporeans live in or have lived in public housing.

I was born in Singapore, spent the first week of my life there ( My parents were there for work ) and regularly return there. Their government doesn’t borrow to build HDB flats (we would class them as slums here in NZ). They have money by virtue of not paying any dole, making users pay via medisafe for their own public healthcare & issuing the death penalty to druggies (reducing the cost of incarceration, rehabilitation, healthcare & lowering crime - 0% of capitally punished criminals reoffend within 20 years).
The government will fill HDB flats even if those flats are in the farthest corners of the country & built on a swamp with only HDB flats for neighbours. HNZ refuses to achieve similar efficiencies by grouping all its clients together in the same way in multi story HNZ exclusive towers within HNZ exclusive complexes (with dozens of similar towers). HDB estates can have densities of up to 30,000 people per square KM (at this density all of HNZ’s clients could fit into Hobson ville point and there would still be room to spare!

Sadr001: "0% of capitally punished criminals re-offend within 20 years."

You are indubitably correct..... they would certainly be in no position to re-offend after having been capitally punished.

Yes Singapore is a country that New Zealand should learn from, Singapore has very little land, unlike NZ. They HAD to be efficient with land.

Bigger countries much harder to control, when Singapore was with Malaysia and had stayed together until present, we will never know what their economic development would be like, in my opinion, it would have been very different situation now.

However Malaysia asked Singapore to leave in 1965, so we will never know

Well Mark? - it's not far from JC comment isn't it? the criminal negligent was from ruling elite, I would say neo-liberal, you said.. the banks, central bank.. immoral. That is enough point to say apart from adding this UN envoy statement. Borrowing what you said, about the banks, central bank .. look across the ditch, most of NZ parent banks, what is the recent commission findings? - plenty words of 'criminal' has been put on their findings. My personal point is? - these flip-flopping NZ govt (whichever Lab, Nat etc.) - pretend to avoid big responsibility by stating that the central bank is independent - albeit? that silently.. their independent, are all based on personal vested interest - Money already creep in to each of those so called independent voices, so by product of it? a gutless OCR movement. no creativity, just herd mentality, 'avoid at any cost' a movement that can cause.. my 'house value' to go down.. that is the basis of sub-conscious of every members that decided the OCR level - for start, are you able to point me? which one of those panel personnel that decided the OCR.. is actually still a 'renter'.. well?

All of her suggestions involve increasing costs on landlords. It's typical interventionist nonsense. No consideration giving to the unintended consequences. No attempt to study the history of failure of the measures she suggests around the world.

Her title itself is ridiculous, and gives away the UN's clear left-wing ideological bent. "UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing".

If you have a right to housing, then you have a right to the builder's labour. I call that slavery.

Central banks “intervene“ and create much of the wealth disparity. Banks “intervene” to create much of the debt/money and channel newly created debt/money into assets that already exist. Why is intervention that favours assets holders casually and apathetically accepted by those who benefit but any intervention made my a government to offset the broken system is viewed as anti-capitalist?. Seems hypocritical in a lot of ways.

I agree with most of that. I think Central Banks are the most destructive interveners. Banks are only doing what they're allowed to by the regulator and central bank, and perhaps what they have to do to stay afloat while rates are so low, so I don't blame them.

But two wrongs don't make a right. Just because the state has messed things up with its intervention doesn't mean the solution is counter-intervention. The solution is for the state to get the f out of the way.

We should also not forget that housing was in part affordable in NZ because of state efforts to increase stock and access to it.

Yeah, I have been thinking of voting national so as to grease the rails so the first wrong can devour itself faster. The free market always simmering underneath.

The solution is the state building masses and masses of houses so that "people farming" becomes a thing of the past.

The only laughable comment is yours Mark, the UN is doing a necessary work with the long-term perspective that most governments lack. Rent freezes and caps are necessary when the market goes out of control and high rents cause a humanitarian problem like we have in this country. It would not be a first either, you can find this type of measures in other countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and some states of the USA like California, New York among others.

Haha, what that UN expert was, is absolutely bang on, housing investment is little short of "people farming" in this country and it is past time that people who will need to rent for their lifetime, can live somewhere they can call home and not live in fear of eviction at any moment because some landlord has decided it's time to cash up.

Oh, this is going to be good. *grabs popcorn and waits for inevitable exploding heads*

I think Labour/Greens should adopt these as their policy platform for the upcoming election. I'm sure it's a winning platform /sarc

It's more 'radical' than Labour or JA. It's bordering on 'power-to-the-people revolution'

Like democracy?

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Jacinda is now firmly stuck between the commonsense recommendations of her future employer and the heartless New Zealand ponzi addicted voting public. What to do?. Maybe do what all governments do ... nothing.

She is (and always was) a chardonnay socialist. There will be no revolution, except in some of the lyrics at a DJ event in Grey Lynn.

The only sensible thing to do would be the very tough job of building a real economy. Apart from rampant housing inflation fueling economic growth, all we have are industries engaged in swapping high-value services and goods produced overseas for bulk commodities made in NZ through exploitation of low-paid, majorly-imported workforce.

In order for the Ponzi scheme to end without total chaos, we will first have to find better alternatives to fund our "advanced" lifestyle. Until then, human rights abuse is our way of life!

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But that would require productivity. Instead we have landlords stealing money from the working class, then labelling the working class as lazy because they’re living off the government - not realising they themselves are the economic drag on the economy, guilty of the sin they blame others for.

Exactly. Landlords agreed is simply a front for excessive Bank profits, profits that leave NZ.

Investing in housing is like economic cannibalism imho

You know what would increase productivity, and reduce rents, housing costs, and the price of goods and services? A land value tax.

What would increase productivity is getting rid of this absolutely incompetent government that does nothing for business whatsoever!!

An foreign agent of the international oligarchic collective?

Yea the “In my view New Zealand must also adopt a comprehensive rights-based housing strategy that focuses on structural changes and that sets short- and long-term targets and establishes monitoring and accountability mechanisms. really got me laughing.

Normal do as I say, not as I do sorta UN stuff.

Very intetesting. If we started deporting organised criminals such as that liquor store owner in Chch, that'd free up quite a bit of housing too...

Or expand provisions for asset seizure to a much wider set of offences.

I'm proposing a 501 type process, fail good character, you're out. What expansion do you have in mind?

We too can cancel resident visas and deport such visa holders - you can read under what circumstances here;

https://communitylaw.org.nz/community-law-manual/chapter-28-immigration/...

Easy enough to add to those grounds.

The CHCH retailer case is a good example, as the exploitation of workers (i.e., breaches of our labour/employment laws) is a relatively new, and growing problem locally. Similar offending is ripe in the restaurant/food industry. Such offenders should not be left with any commercial/residential property assets through which they are likely to exploit others. And one can assume that it is through earlier and ongoing exploitation that the offender enriched themselves, such that they were able to obtain many of those assets.

Also consider breaches of environmental and/or conservation laws, OIO breaches, AML/CFT breaches, etc. Any breaches whereby the offence is committed for pecuniary gain and/or avoidance of regulatory costs.

We too can cancel visas but why aren't we?

Invited by the Government, everyone knows the speculators are the root of the problem.
Not good for the current 'Bull Trap' the property industry have been repeatedly advertising under the guise of news.

That and home owners unwilling to support democratic reform that may reduce prices. We’ve got greedy, but unwilling on the most part to admit it.

This beggars belief. Does this person not know about the terrible unintended consequences incurred when rent freezes have been tried throughout history? Some people's inability to learn from the past is shocking.

Arguably governments using bubble politics to gain the vote of the haves over the have nots isn’t going to be the most intelligent move either over the long term....but hey

This beggars belief. Does this person not know about the terrible unintended consequences incurred when rent freezes have been tried throughout history? Some people's inability to learn from the past is shocking.

Nonsense. Japan and S'pore both have rental caps in their housing sector. Both economies are far superior in many aspects to free wheelin' NZ.

You're a real piece of work with your misinformation smearing. Can't be bothered with you. All I can suggest is that people Google it.

Yes. Here's a couple of links to credible sources to for you to consume. Come back to me when you've determined what the misinformation is.

1. Singapore

https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2019/03/15/singapores-mechanism-design-app...

2. Japan

The cost of almost all rental accommodation through the Japan Housing Corporation is calculated based on income components and / or special needs (solo parent families, disabled people, etc).

https://www.ur-net.go.jp/profile/english/pdf/profile_en_all.pdf

Does the article about Singapore even mention rent control other than referencing how it doesn't work? They abolished rent control in 2001. All land is owned by the Government and they built hundreds of thousands of houses. You get me to read this irrelevant article and it doesn't seem you bothered to read it yourself. This is why I should just ignore you. https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Acts-Supp/14-2001/Published/20010330?DocDate=2001...

Saying that Japan has rent control because the Housing Corporation does is like saying that NZ has rent control because Housing New Zealand doesn't charge market rent. One of the reasons Tokyo's rental market works is the fact that they don't have rent controls. As well as their stagnant population.

The Singapore govt has no reason to lie about rental controls.

https://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/residential/renting-a-flat/renting-fro...

One of the reasons Tokyo's rental market works is the fact that they don't have rent controls.

Not correct. Tokyo has always had more than enough public housing for those who wish to live in it. It has always been a choice for Japanese citizens to choose private or public housing. And public housing rentals are capped based on one's income.

That isn’t a rental cap. That is the equivalent of Housing New Zealand.

Read. Rents for low-income and disadvantaged people are 'capped' accordingly.

You are of course correct sadr. JC is confused as per usual.

Hi J.C, there is no such thing as rent control in the private sector - it is a free market. The link you refer to is strictly for HDB flats - government subsidized accomm (same as HNZ). There are strict criteria for applying for these units to rent. 80% of Singaporean live in HDB at one time or another. 99 years leasehold. Average 100sqm. No frills. Concrete unit in the sky with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. No garden, no garage, no backyard. Costs about SGD400,000 (equiv of NZD410,000), usually with 30 years mortgage. Everyone works full time their whole life to pay off the mortgage. But it solves the homelessness problem - there are no homeless in Singapore. Government steps in to help those really special desperate cases, such as the disabled or critically ill, but certainly not in the form of A-Z benefits or handouts. You do not find single mum with 3 kids under 5 years old, receiving full accommodation supplement and all sorts of single mum benefits. Just does not happen. I am a Singaporean. I should know better.

So as a Singaporean, you will also understand that there is public housing with "capped rent" for low-income and disadvantaged families / people. I have never claimed that the "free market" has govt restrictions on rent. It is the same situation in Japan. It's not the same in Europe where rental caps do apply in the private sector in some countries.

"Google It"...Thinking for yourself might be a better option or maybe the "google it' reply alternative articles to your way of thinking.

California has rent caps in some areas as well, and Berlin is about to implement a rent freeze;

https://www.thelocal.de/20200106/berlin-rent-freeze-340000-tenants-payin...

In NZ, the Accommodation Supplement has really stuffed up the rental market by way of injecting a $1 billion+ stimulus annually. Introducing a schedule of pull back from that stimulus (i.e., a schedule of planned reductions) would likely have a very good deflationary effect on both house prices and rents. Given the recent changes to tenancy laws (improved security of tenancy), perhaps the coalition has this in mind.

Yes Kate. And Austria.

Vienna effortlessly tops the world’s most liveable city surveys, and for good reason. Its citizens – 1.8 million at the last count – enjoy affordable public transport, abundant greenery and rents UK citizens could only dream of. In fact, acccommodation in Vienna is plentiful and cheap, making it one of the most affordable places to live. In this compact city, dominated by four- and five-storey, walk-up mansion blocks, tenants have been known to snag flats with palace views, free heating and Alps mineral water on tap. More than 80% of residents rent, and two-thirds of Viennese citizens live in municipal or publicly subsidised housing. Eight out of ten flats built in the city today are financed by Vienna’s housing subsidy scheme. This quality and range helps push down rental prices, meaning low-paid workers can afford to live in the Austrian capital, even in the city centre. They often live centrally and enjoy its cheap amenities, short commutes and, thanks to a sound economy, jobs – even when renting on the partially regulated private market.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/dec/12/vienna-housing-policy-uk...

I wonder if they are still offering art classes.

Actually Wien tops the lot because it has the highest concentration of Hugo Boss stores anywhere on the globe. I tend to think that after my time spent in that city that it IS the rent controlled/social housing component that makes it all possible. You can actually afford some really great clothes and some food and pay your bills all in one weeks pay! Carl Marx Hauf is nearly one mile long! Imagine if Kiwi Build could equal that! The bottom line....After all, do you see any Hugo Boss shops here in NZ? Probably not, most of the population has been run broke by paying TOO MUCH OF THEIR INCOME in rent....but there is a Kmart on every corner....12$ jeans anyone? Only if you haven't been fleeced at Countdown first!

Watching at doc last night I found out Hugo Boss was a Nazi and personally designed the ss uniforms. Surprised it’s still such a popular brand.

Yes a rather nasty fact, but that was over 50 years ago, don't forget that VW and Audi were also neck deep in it...I often wonder if drivers of those vehicles understand that themselves.

Unintended consequences in Berlin and California. For example, landlords stop maintaining properties. Tenants literally need to buy and install their own kitchens in Berlin.

That's partly because people stay far longer in rentals in Germany, thus often rent them barer with more rights to decorate significantly.

Joyce increased the accomadation supplement in the 2017 Budget. We now spend $1.5bn/ year. Also the rent increases since 2017 have negated the increase in the supplement in most places by the end of 2019. So renters only receive a benefit for 2 years but landlords get it forever (or until NZ reforms housing support).

Singapore has no rental cap? Are you referring to the limit on number of occupants per dwelling? I think HNZ has a similar occupancy cap, but HNZ just doesn’t enforce it.

But I thought all of the social problems we’ve been experiencing were signs of success? The previous National government wouldn’t be liars would they?

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This women is a total out and out left wing radical socialist being highly paid by the UN ( all of us eventually) to report on housing in many countries. She has come up with the same rubbish on housing problems in Canada, Holland and the USA and other places. All her suggestions have been rejected or ignored. This load of codswallop will end up as just another door stop. That she should be even paid a cent for wasting our time is even a bigger disgrace.

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I may have missed them, but do you have viable solutions or are you like many, exploiting the misery of others for your own financial gain?

Sounds like your happy to suck on the Govt tit as the best solution.

I'm a home owner and I would have no problem paying capital gains tax if I sold my house. I understand that the benefit of purchasing my house is that my family has somewhere to live. If any profits are made from capital gains then I view that as just a side benefit that I'm happy to receive less of if it facilitates a more affordable housing market. I understand that many feel entitled to have their capital gains on the family home tax-free so this seems unlikely but I cannot justify tax free capital gains on investment properties. Lack of CGT is a large contributor (not the only one I know) to our overpriced housing market that urgently needs to be fixed.

Same here with shares - happy to pay tax on gains if it makes the game a fairer platform for greater prosperity. These issues need a utilitarian approach - not a me, now, ostrich approach.

Spectators - I agree about a CGT but most importantly it must be across all asset classes and no family home exception. At a rate of 7.5% it would raise alot of extra revenue and much easier to sell to voters in my opinion.

I'd have an issue with it. Makes it difficult to buy/sell in same market as an owner occupier if you're being taxed on a "gain" particularly if inline with market rates.

Buy house for $200k. In 10 years sell up for $600k and buy another house for $600k. Pay tax on $400k gain @ 30 cents in the dollar??? Take out a mortgage to pay the tax or downgrade your house.

The diagnosis is spot on.
The medicine is not.

Might need the vet, not the dr

“At the root of the crisis is a speculative housing market that has been supported by successive governments who have promoted home ownership as an investment, while until recently discontinuing the provision of social housing and providing inadequate tenant protection,” she said.

Who could've guessed? Not the Banks. Not the RBNZ. Not the BIS. Right?

This speculative bubble was created by countries providing ultra low interest rates to subsidise banks which are too-big-to-fail. And now the UN has chimed in to effectively say we need to spend even more money to subsidise everything else as well. Which will cause more stress on the banking sector and require even greater "need" for subsidy. The UN is working hand in glove for the banking sector to create endless corporate welfare requirements.

Checked Ms Farha's linkedin profile to confirm what i expected.... no economic training or qualification whatsoever.... degrees in Law and Social work.

Many clues in this article but I didnt need to read too far to realise it... noone with any economic qualification and basic understanding would propose rent freezes as a solution to a supply problem.

Would like to know how much the NZ Govt paid the UN to have this report done.... complete waste of time.

There's a big difference between training, morals/ethics, and motivations. Many bank economists and politicians have economic training, but do they have the morals/ethics and motivations to accept there is an issue and actual bring around changes? No, they have the training, but money is more important than morals/ethics.

andyb: in NZ, especially at Auckland Universities, they have "dumbed down" legal training. If your one of the chosen (i.e. of a minority ethnicity) they 'walk' you through the course.

And the economists at the Fed have done really well????

We can tax our way to cheap houses? UN clearly know as much about Housing and Taxes in NZ as they do earthquakes in Haiti. THey can just ^$&* right off.

What are your solutions Noncents - or are we as a country in denial that there is an issue?

Amazing that those getting taken for a ride have been so quiet? Thought they would be chasing the landlords with pitch forks or something - or is that yet to come?

It is a multi faceted problem that requires numerous solutions. A good starting point would be:

Top down (I.e. Govt led)
- Better town planning
- Less red tape
- Govt built housing (although we can rule that one out with current Govt's ineptitude)
- Reduced immigration
- No GST on new builds
- Take the stick to the materials monopoly
- Get rid of the multitude of middlemen and dodgy operators in the construction industry, whose sole purpose is to make a buck rather than add anything productive.
- Sort out insurance and body corporate law.

Bottom up (i.e. The general public led)
1. You don't ever "Need" 4 garages, 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a shed the size of Nauru.
2. There is nothing wrong with denser living (apartments/terraced housing) they can actually be really beneficial and add to the sense of community.
3. the cafe's/trendy bars/local market mean nothing if you spend your whole life commuting. Live closer to work, then go to the cool stuff on your time off.
4. Look after your stuff. Don't just buy the house then never do a drop of maintenance.
5. Even a house costing $200k still requires a $40k deposit - stop buying junk and start saving.

I would add one. Accept that you can’t have one set of rma rules for the whole country. Places like Wanaka & Queenstown require different rules to say New Plymouth as their requirements and pressures are so completely different.

Great post noncents

+1
1) The right to shelter should be added to a/the bill of rights

but:

We mainly have a case of very low interest rates (asset price appreciation) & too much demand (very high per capita immigration rate) and too little being built (inelastic RMA).

Changing the tax approach is needed, but only shifts the balance between rentals and home ownership and doesnt address the demand/supply imbalance.

Evidence of this is Christchurch where Selywn & Waimak Districts have provided relief valves and price appreciation has been limited vs the rest of NZ. Verses Auckland & Queenstown with very limited supply growth and excess demand.

2) Manage the immigration rate down to a sustainable level focused on maximising gdp/capita growth not total gdp. We have one of the highest per capita immigration rates

3) Fix the RMA which is very inelastic and a major restraint on supply. Its meant to be effects based, not zone based as it has been implemented

4) Use targeted rates to fund infrastructure shortfalls so development can proceed. Its the user that creates the demand not the developer.

5) Require local government to undertake cost benefit analysis on all its spending. This will remove the vanity projects and ensure funding goes where it is most needed, & right now that's infrastructure for housing.

6) Central government needs to get its priorities right & spend more on social housing. The 300m recently announced is pittance compared to the transport spending package announced which was in the billions.

Are there rental houses sitting empty because landlords are demanding rents that are too high? No.

Our homelessness problem is indeed a human rights crisis. But rent freezes or a CGT will do nothing good to help homelessness, which is a problem of inadequate supply relative to population. We have maintained high rates of migration and low rates of housing construction for two decades now. Today's homelessness is a natural consequence of our building regulation not matching our immigration policies.

There may be good reasons for rent freezes and a CGT. Homelessness is not one of them.

Are there rental houses sitting empty because landlords are demanding rents that are too high? No.

Really? https://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential-property-to-rent/auction-...?

Has been available since the end of November.. and still is. Why? I'm sure it has nothing to do with the $750/week rent in Henderson...
And there are many more examples of houses that have been listed as available since December..

No inside photos supplied. Just because it is listed at a stupidly high price does not mean it is sitting empty.

A rental that is on the market at a ridiculously high price isn't really on the market. If the owner really wants to let the house they will have to drop the rent.

Wtf? Go back and read what you just wrote and your original post. The rental hasn't been taken up because of the daft price being asked. So yes, itisa rental that has not been taken because it's overpriced. And as I said, there are many others available from Dec on trademe.

I support the notion that a society that supports its less fortunate members appeals a lot more to me than the opposite (survival of the fittest type). Having said that just stating something is someones right without having a detailed practical plan as how this will be achieved is somewhat annoying to me. Freedom of movement is a very good example, if freedom of movement is everyone's right, why do we have countries or borders in first place?
Housing is a human right. OK, but how the right must be provided for? it is really not as easy as people sometimes say. NZ need to encourage construction activity and profit motive is one of the best motivators. Discouraging investment in housing can be achieved by various means (e.g. various forms of taxes and levies, restricting access to credit etc). However it is exceptionally difficult (if not impossible) to have both at the same time. Alternative is increasing real wages. But that in NZ economy is even more difficult. Talk is cheap (it is free most of the times) but things are much more complicated than a blank statement.

NZ is an ideal testing ground for the concept of privatising profits and socialising poverty

Who the hell is Lelani Farha? Where is her report Jenee? This post is unsubstantiated as it stands. I would like do see some facts and figures, including how many children the homeless have.
Unless people have a mental or physical illness then they shouldn't be relying on the state for support. In fact if they have these illnesses they shouldn't be having children, full stop!
For instance, she doesn't mention that the too many "Maori, Polynesian.......and others" that she cites seem to me to be having too many children and expecting taxpayers to support them indefinitely.
The human rights abuse is against the ordinary NZ taxpayer.
She herself seems like another third world type bludging off the civilised and successful nations of the world.

Millionaire or in poverty, Pakeha, Immigrant or Maori makes no difference their every child is important to every New Zealander. [In France they even have the child as property of the state so parents cannot do whatever they like with their own child for example giving the child a name the state disapproves of]. Adults get older and when elderly their survival will depend on the actions of the children being born now. So bring back a generous universal child benefit - universal so single women don't have otherwise unwanted children just to get housing and benefits.
So I do expect taxpayers to support children indefinitely (but not their parents). The human rights abuse is against NZ children.
A society that thinks housing is an investment but children are not is a sick society.

I do not agree with rent controls, but a Capital Gains Tax is something that has to be done.

On all property not just investment properties otherwise it becomes a minefield of rorts and a subsidy for lawyers and accountants.

I doubt very much we will ever have a CGT across the board. There is already a partial CGT called the Brightline Test and that has helped to increase property values in my opinion. Buyer demand has increased but there is a lack of homes for sale.

I do not agree with public funding to supplement/subsidize private rental costs. Do you?

I would be ok with it if NZ gave capital grants to the non-profit community housing sector to build affordable rentals. If NZ had a strong community housing sector then if landlords increase rents the community housing sector can respond by building more rentals and take the tenants off the private sector. Which quickly teaches landlords not to increase rents. In this way rent increases are contained and the accommodation supplement can benefit the tenants not the landlords.

It is impossible to build affordable anything now. There are far too many regulations that inhibit quantity and efficiency.

2 billion and climbing every year,
imagine if we spent that building houses each year

I understand the general sentiment of the UN housing expert BUT there are other ways to do this. As for me I would increase supply by relaxing the rules. Council building inspectors would still be required but NIMBYS would not get a say. Those who have a property they want to develop should be able to do so without resource consent. Too far you say? Then why is Twyford writing the rules so that HNZ and kiwibuild (Kainga Ora) can bypass council? This govt need the private sector so by shutting out the private sector they wont be able to get enough homes built.

"When one in every hundred people is homeless, half of whom are under 25 years; when thousands are living in vehicles or housed in motels provided by the State; when houses are in such disrepair that they cause otherwise preventable illness and disease; and when middle income earners are finding it difficult to afford an accessible and decent home, the result is not just a housing crisis, it is a human rights crisis of significant proportions."
I am an average citizen and do question the above facts.
1. If 1 in 100 are homeless, then we have 50000 homeless people.
2. Which houses are in disrepair? Private landlords have to comply with all the latest health regulations which the renters are eventually paying for through increased rent. Why are the "houses in disrepair" which I believe is mostly state housing not forced to get it fixed.
3. Penalising private landlords are just going to make the problem worse and rent more.
Solutions:
1. Stop the escalating demand by limiting immigrants to 10000 Max s year.
2. Initiate a progressive CGT, 10% on first property, 15% on second, 20% on third etc....
3. Do the same with LVR 20% on first home, 30% on second, 35% on third etc......
4. Use the CGT gained to invest into buying land and subsidising the building of new houses.
5. Create a fully government controlled housing non profit scheme to oversee and run the whole scheme.
6. Ban the worst of sub standard houses to be rented.

All this can't happen overnight but start now and there could be a much better outcome in even 5 years.

The CCP supported methodology to NZ based populations the past 15yrs via respective governtments, is this a House not a home to live/grow family/quality of life/creative productivity BUT investment to roll over in short term.
Too late to correct this, get the land, get the house & move the population based voters to any govt. that always have to nod to those method. Beefed up the RE price for the dying voters based, to make any significant changes impossible, no matter what. NZ you're already toasted now, the significant changes eventually will come from 'disconnected' younger voters, more radicals on their approach. Generations gap of disconnected youth on the current situation.

Across the ditch, most of NZ parent banks, what is the recent commission findings there? - plenty words of 'criminal' has been put on their findings. The point is? - these flip-flopping NZ govt (whichever Lab, Nat etc.) - pretend to avoid big responsibility by stating that the central bank is independent - albeit? that silently.. their independent, are all based on personal vested interest - Money already creep in to each of those so called independent voices, so by product of it? a gutless OCR movement. no creativity, just herd mentality, 'avoid at any cost' a movement that can cause.. my 'house value' to go down.. that is the basis of sub-conscious of every members that decided the OCR level - which one of those panel personnel that decided the OCR.. is actually still a 'renter'.. well? - it's easy to hide/used the manipulated data for the OCR. Remind me of ex Middlemore hospital CEO, created blunder saying his conference center project made profit about 1.5million in March, by May the same year after his sacking? it's become 2million deficit - ..but yea for those with vested interest (job, position, ocr level etc.) - it's all about producing numbers sadly.

Hopefully someone will listen to this UN report, rent freezes and caps are just unpopular with the owners, in a country of renters this will translate into votes though.

Extend the bright-line test to ten years

CGT is required for any profit like any other investement and business but NO POLITICANS will do as need votes to be in power.

recent example of Greed of Power = JA

Basically echoing exactly what John Key said. NZ needs it, it's fair to tax earned and unearned income the same, but no politician will put it in.

Our housing issue a Human Rights crisis................ my backside !

Try looking at places where there is a real human rights crisis , like Gaza or Syria , or the DRC, Venezuela, or large parts of Africa and the Middle East.

She should piss-off back to where she came from and leave us alone to sort out our own problems, which we are able to do .

Like Council Town Planners allowing our cities to expand as the population grows and not be restricted by stupid ideology .
Reducing immigration while we get infrastructure up to date
Stop Councils charging $30,000 to connect a water-meter .

Just 3 examples of why we have expensive houses

As for rent controls , what an utterly failed stupid 1870's Communist idea that has not worked ever in a free market

Possibly your backside is indeed a human rights crisis.

We certainly hear enough about it.. or from it.

Predictably, the UN "expert" commissioned by the government, hasn't got much to say of any real substance.
But what I find discouraging by responses to this any most other threads, is the almost universal belief that "gummit" is the best (often, the only) source of remedy for almost every problem facing us.
NZ has come a long way since Seddon decided handing out taxpayer monies to "deserving causes". And in my opinion that increasing tendancy has sapped our willingness to take any real responsibility for our own situations.
This is not to say collective solutions via state actions are never appropriate, simply we have worked ourselves into a frame of mind where we look first to the government.
The media hasn't helped. How of are we given examples of sometimes harrowing social disadvantage, but rarely if ever, does the commentator ask the "victim"....politely,...and how did you get yourself into this pickle?"
We just seem to have a community ethos of saying..."we have a problem....who is the Minister responsible to solve it?"
A moments consideration surely reveals that governments of any persuasion, for at least tge last one hundted years, have consistently failed to solve even basic social problems.
Why do we persist in believing anything is likely to improve?

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