Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halfway there

So, just days after bemoaning the lack of a big, deep-pocketed developer to build affordable housing, the government has announced that Housing New Zealand will be going into the property development business in Christchurch:

The Government will build affordable homes for private sale for the first time in response to the Christchurch housing shortage.

Housing New Zealand plans to link with a private developer to build a mix of social housing and affordable homes for sale on five Christchurch sites.


Housing New Zealand plans to build between 200 and 350 houses in Christchurch over the next 18 months at a cost of between $60m and $90m.

Booker said 100 of those homes might not be owned by Housing New Zealand.

Socialism wins! But the government isn't all the way there yet - there's no guarantee that Housing New Zealand's new affordable homes won't just be snapped up by greedy landlords and parasitic Boomers and used to further keep young New Zealanders in rent-bondage while farming tax-free capital gains. As the Greens point out, it needs to be combined with positive measures to make sure these homes go to people in need: rent-to-by schemes, cheap loans for first home-buyers, and limiting sales to first home-buyers and social housing providers. Otherwise we're just subsidising the same people who are causing this crisis.

Still, they're halfway there, and that's a positive move.