Key signals big shift towards community-provided social housing from pure state housing in creating 'super group' of housing ministers

Key signals big shift towards community-provided social housing from pure state housing in creating 'super group' of housing ministers
An award winning design for the Social Housing Unit.

By Lynn Grieveson

With his announcement of his new cabinet on Monday, Prime Minister John Key has signalled the government's desire to accelerate the switch from state housing to social housing, potentially divesting more of the big "sticky asset" of Housing New Zealand stock to provide the capital for others to build social housing.

Key said a ministerial team of Bill English, Paula Bennett and Nick Smith would work together on housing issues, with English taking responsibility for Housing New Zealand.

"Housing's a big issue, I think, for the Government; it's a big issue for New Zealand and there's specific parts to that, " Key said.

"So what we've done there is to have Bill English as the Minister of Finance responsible for what is a very big asset now in the Government's balance sheet: Housing New Zealand. About NZ$15 billion worth of assets there."

A new role of Minister for Social Housing has been created for Paula Bennett, who will be charged with growing social housing, provided by organisations such as the Salvation Army or Presbyterian Support Services, potentially by selling off Housing New Zealand properties.

Key said he believed that there would be "if not less Housing New Zealand provided homes, little growth, if any, in that area, and a substantial increase in social housing provided homes."

"That's been the mixture we have seen overseas. We have seen those social housing providers as better long term landlords, they have had more flexibility in the way that they approach (it) and it's a big sort of sticky asset for us in terms of Housing New Zealand, and I think governments of successive persuasions have struggled with it," Key said.

"So we do want to see a growth in the social housing area and we are potentially prepared to put a lot more resources in that area."

'That mix is wrong'

Referring to a commitment made during the campaign to put NZ$100 million into supporting the development of social housing, Key suggested increased funding could come from freeing up the capital tied up in Housing New Zealand stock.

"Now, in theory, with the income related rents there is a cash flow there that should allow them to actually go and build their housing stock. That is at way too slow a rate than what the government would like to see. So if you think NZ$15.5 billion sitting there for Housing New Zealand and NZ$100 million sitting in social housing, that mix is wrong and I think there is a real opportunity here to potentially change that dynamic and I want to see a lot more work done in that area," Key said.

Australian model

"Potentially, as I say, if you look in Australia you will see very big social housing providers working with the private sector building those homes, long term tenancies agreements, income related rents, there's a lot we can do there."

Key said the government would not "you know, go crazy" selling Housing New Zealand homes.

"But there's the capacity there for all those ministers to think through how it might work. What I am interested in is that the overall number of homes that are provided for the least well off New Zealanders and over time I would like to see that number grow. It's pretty obvious we need more. It's also obvious, I think, we need them in better condition and we need them in the right places," Key said.

"And I think we'd be silly to say the government was the sole provider here. I think there is no question that social housing providers can play a much bigger role. How we make that happen is the challenge for us over the next three years."

Child poverty focus

Key tied the switch away from Housing New Zealand to social housing to his commitment to address child poverty in this term of government.

"The asset is often in the wrong place, you can see that, that's one of the reasons we've been selling some state houses or Housing New Zealand homes because we have them in the wrong location, they are not always terribly flexible, " he said.

"The previous government completely ignored the upkeep of those homes and by the time we got there they were in complete disrepair. It's a big asset for us and I think there's a better long term approach. I've started that initial work on how we are going to have a greater focus and attention for what we can do for poor children and very vulnerable children and I think you don't have to be a rocket scientist to work out when you look at those very vulnerable families the big issues of attention for them are, one of them is housing," Key said.

"So if we can build the social housing stock then it presents quite an opportunity for us to help some of those families."

Key keen to get RMA reform underway

Within the new ministerial team dealing with housing issues, Nick Smith retains responsibility for construction and building, charged with "essentially building affordability and access for New Zealanders in general to be able to own their own home," Key said.

Smith is also Minister for the Environment, responsible for the reforms of the Resource Management Act, which the government could not pass last term after failing to get support for the proposed changes from either United Future or the Maori Party.

Key said Smith would be looking at that draft legislation, thinking about whether its current structure is "appropriate", then introducing it to parliament as "a matter of urgency."

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The government's attempt to silence critical NGO's by withdrawing their tax-exempt charitable status failed in the courts so now it's having a go at buying them with taxpayer-funded accommodation benefits.
 
Clever.
 
BTW although Key may have mentioned housing affordability and changes to the RMA in the same breath there is no connection between them. Land is too expensive because of council policies not the wording of the RMA. The Productivity Commission have' been told not to look at the RMA when they look at the relationship between council planning practices and land prices. It's yet another blue herring.

Key is such a clever politician he has turned those damn herrings blue!
 
Another blue herring is how over 6 years his housing promises have switched from an aspirational affordability mesage for all to a fix for childhood poverty with social housing for some.

taxpayer subsidised housing for a few I think

HNZ Waiting list
Priority A

June 2007: 133
June 2008: 248
June 2009: 261
June 2010: 368
June 2011: 402
June 2012: 425
June 2013: 1290
June 2014: 3188
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11336725
 
They sure need to do something urgently - more than a doubling yoy.

Kate , with 50,000 new migrants arriving every 52 weeks , one would expect the waiting list for almost -free  houses by Kiwi's to grow exponentially , and thats exactly what has happened .
The migrants are buying up the rental stock to occupy themsleves , and the tenants are being forced to go to  HNZ.
In essence I dont believe that State should be doing for a person what he or she can do for themselves .
But , the State can facilitate home ownership with its programmes to assist

In essence I dont believe that State should be doing for a person what he or she can do for themselves .
 
But it is OK for a film corporate?
 
Within a day or two of the Warners visit, the Government had reached an agreement with the company to increase the subsidy from the $65 million already available in subsidies by a further $30 million. It also agreed to change employment law to remove the right of any worker in the film industry to challenge his or her employment status. This law change was rushed through Parliament within 24 hours, under urgency without public submissions. It was welcomed by Jackson and Walsh, who wrote to the Minister that they were “thrilled” and “relieved” that the law had passed. [xxx] Read long, but full discovery version that has yet to be challenged and removed by the courts.
 
New Zealand taxpayers paid for their own local film workers jobs offered by Jackson etc.on the Hobbit.

I'd qualify that by cheaper and better.  If you look at the US for instance private healthcare is clearly poorer value for money and delivers worse outcomes. Ditto tertiary education is certainly way more expensive.
regards
 
 

The US Healthcare system is more often than not the pathway to poverty for those unfortunates who find themselves in its deathgrip

The point Kate is making is that, under 6 years of stewardship by John Key's National led Government the waiting list has increased by 2396%, whereas the population has not increased by that much. Not exactly a commendation
 
Do you have a rational explanation for that?

Exactly. Except the word stewardship implies a level of competance which this lot simply haven't got.

Kate. The word stewardship is most appropriate in an understated way. On several occasions I have been tempted to invite Stephen Hulme to define the characteristics and qualities and attributes possessed by a derivatives trader that can rise up through the ranks from nothing to amassing a personal nest-egg of $49 million

The nom-de-guerre "the smiling assassin" is a kindness. Competent - yes - much more than - in a sinister way
 
Those who would recognise it would be Stephen Hulme, Ostrich and myself

Key, prime mover of the deck chairs. At it again.

Key wants eliminate poverty - just good guy.
......
How - by eliminating poor....clever.

I want to see  this poverty we are hearing about .
And dont cite the example in last weekends paper about the family of 5  living in a car .
At the risk of sounding cynical , something just does not add up there, and I dont think we got the whole story .
Because between his weekly wages ,  WFF and the income supplement that family should have a net  income of enough to live decently, albeit modestly .
The article was designed to have everyone in Remuera feeling guilty and  choking  over their Sunday morning coffee and croissants in the conservatory .
 
  

Well while he's on the subject of housing maybe he can sort out the whole foreign ownership thing, as well.
Not holding my breath

He is sorting out the both!.
Most people will be indentured slaves to the policies of the past few years.
The rest will be mortgage slaves for the foreseable future.
The insider traders, have already made a killing.
They even got voted back in.
The overheads are over loaded.
Now they are overloading the ratepayers.
The price of petrol will add fuel to the fire.
Taxes can only increase the pyre.
But not for the overseas non-taxpayers.
Farmers are feeling the pinch, interestingly enough.
Banks pinched all the profits, interestingly on-top.
Debt is piling on.
House sales are piling up.
We are all multi-millionaires, just ask an Aucklander, whatever their hue.
Hugh has died down.
So has Kim.Com.
All is well with the world.
The world is increasingly unwell.
Auckland has all the power of a broken sub-station, no reserves.
Pity the poor Aucklanders, without it/them.
The wind is picking up.
I am increasingly getting the wind up.
 

Does social housing equate with slum landlords? I really don't need to see these articles in the MSM - I would rather pay higher taxes for better outcomes. 
 
Water running down walls and gang members beating disgruntled tenants are just a few of the perils of private rentals in Cannons Creek.
 
Bill Hiku has seen a lot in his 15 years living in the Porirua suburb, but one of the worst was walking into a three-bedroom home and seeing the family living in just one bedroom because of water running down the walls of the other two. Read more

Slum landlords of the Rackman era in the UK, now imported for the Benefit taking of slum landlords New Zealand wide.
Read more.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Rachman

"Does social housing equate with slum landlords?"

Yes.

Apart from the side effect of gathering up the rough pieces and expecting them to fit and play nicely, the social provided housing does result in slum effects.

Provide cheap housing (or unqualified free services) and you too can experience why this is.  It is an enlightening, if saddening, revelation on how the human mind processes and how it adapts.  Most people who study sociology are of a "left-ish" bias and prefer to ignore the process that occurs, trusting it willl somehow just vanish if they ignore it.

If you don't understand why ask your drop-out brother-in-law to come and stay in his sisters' spare room for a couple of week free..... adaption at it's finest.

"big social housing providers working with the private sector building those homes,"

And there it is, Key giving back again, but not to the poor, to his mates.......again.
One question I've yet to see properly answered, who are these so-called 'Social-Housing Providers', who owns this new $100mil worth of assets if not the government/HNZ?

Not for profit charities rather all for profit private landlords.
 
The councils should be required to grant these organizations preferable development rights over apartment buildings and greenfield affordable housing

Well there's a Key-ism for you.

"eferring to a commitment made during the campaign to put NZ$100 million into supporting the development of social housing, Key suggested increased funding could come from freeing up the capital tied up in Housing New Zealand stock."

"We" are going to put NZD$100million in developing social housing.... and the other shoe drops ..."we" are going to paying for it by selling your government owned assets

So he sells the NZ Housing to whom?  flunkies? more foreign sales?  
What else of NZ publics' property is that banker going to fire sale off?

Then we have to rent them back at their profit.
So the government can build/finance more properties (possibly through public/private vehicles)   ... anyone like to guess who's going to end up owning the new properties.   Somehow I doubt it's the poor or NZ tenants....

Then we have to rent them back at their profit.
So the government can build/finance more properties (possibly through public/private vehicles)   ... anyone like to guess who's going to end up owning the new properties.   Somehow I doubt it's the poor or NZ tenants....

 
Just like Transmission Gully.
 
Taxpayers will have to pay $125 million a year for 25 years under a proposed funding model for the Transmission Gully road, the Green Party says.
 
Building the 27 kilometre road north of Wellington has been costed at $1.3 billion, but the Greens say that over 25 years it will cost the Government $3 billion, which includes all payments including road maintenance. Read more

From the link,
"The Government will continue to focus strongly on managing expenditure tightly and stabilising and then reducing debt - including carefully managing its future capital needs," English said.
One of those areas would be state housing, where cooperation with community and private providers would allow the Government to draw on outside capital rather than it being the sole responsibility of the taxpayers.
 
From above, you are so right Cowboy
"So what we've done there is to have Bill English as the Minister of Finance responsible for what is a very big asset now in the Government's balance sheet: Housing New Zealand. About NZ$15 billion worth of assets there."
 
So, asset sales to foreigners? - to inject a bit of dosh to meet the delicate state of the dairy farming community demands for debt servicing on reduced incomes.  Read my previous comments - sorry to keep pointing out the obvious.

and the tax take keeps falling and falling. Something is wrong.

Yep, never meets the buoyant forecast - hasn't done for months - hence the early election.

TSY are frontrunning the charade. 

eg. how the ag tenant model may work
http://youtu.be/LCJOFX2kH9k
........ whereby the worlds farmers must be facilitated.....
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdJRB0e-9So
.. and land reparcelling....
 
derived from (war time Europe)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfnUpDOMaHs

Hi,
I think the only way that John Key and company can help the first home buyer, is by discouraging investors(or should I say speculators) in the housing market.
People who earn as many as 3 to 4 to sometimes 8 to 10 houses and make them available for rent and then
1. use that business losses to offset their tax in their other regular incomes
2. wait for capital appreciation and sell off, without paying a cent of tax on the huge profits.
HOW CAN a FIRST HOME BUYER compete with these speculators?
www.niknit.com