Monday, June 29, 2015

Selling for the sake of selling

National wants to sell our state housing stock to Australians:

The Government is not ruling out selling a stake in the country's state housing portfolio to Australian interests.

Finance Minister Bill English said it was possible state houses could be sold to an Australian charity as the government looks to divest some of its housing stock to third parties.

Speaking on TV3s The Nation, English said Australians would be able to buy the State houses if they were registered as community housing providers.

A Gold Coast non profit charity, Horizon Housing, has expressed an interest after visiting New Zealand. It reportedly wants to buy 400 plus houses.

The Government has announced plans to sell a limited number of State houses to community housing providers to take on vulnerable tenants.

National's whole "selling state houses to charity" policy was always just shuffling the deckchairs in an effort to be seen to be doing something while really doing nothing, but this is even worse. At least with an NZ charity there'd be a commitment to helping New Zealanders, and any profits would be directed to that purpose. Selling to foreigners removes all that.

But then, the policy was never intended to actually solve anything. It was always selling for the sake of selling, to run down the state housing stock as part of National's gradual exit from fulfilling this core government obligation. And when this fails, they'll probably suggest something even crazier, like burning state houses down for the insurance or something.