Monday, June 13, 2016

The problem, not the solution

Housing New Zealand was established to end homelessness in New Zealand by the provision of affordable state homes for all who need them. Instead, its creating homelessness:

Housing New Zealand is being accused of causing homelessness by evicting people who can't get rehoused anywhere else.

The Tenancy Tribunal made 1430 orders involving Housing NZ last year, an average of 27 a week, and 717, or an average of 36 a week, so far this year up to May 16.

Auckland Action Against Poverty advocacy co-ordinator Alastair Russell said the state-owned agency, which exists to house people who can't get housed elsewhere, was "pursuing an aggressive policy of eviction based on non-payment of rent".

And frequently, that "non-payment of rent" is due to the usual muppetry by WINZ, rather than any failure of the tenant.

The driver for this is simple: thanks to National's policy of state house sales they don't have enough state houses. And rather than building more, they create vacancies by rapidly churning their tenants and looking for any reason they can to evict people. Or, to put it another way, they provide homes for people living on the street by throwing people out on the street...

Pretty obviously, this isn't a solution to housing need. But National isn't interested in a solution. If they were, they'd be investing a billion a year in a mass state-house building programme to rebuild the state housing stock, rather than trying to sell it down and dump the job on community agencies.