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State tenants to protest the transfer of their homes

28/03/16

State tenants to protest the transfer of their homes to the Tāmaki Redevelopment Company

On the 31st March 2,800 state houses in Glen Innes, Panmure and Point England are going to be transferred to the Tāmaki Housing Association (the social landlord component of the Tāmaki Redevelopment Company).

The Tāmaki Housing Group are holding a rolling picket beginning Tuesday 29 March and ending with a protest on the day of the transfers at 3pm outside the Tāmaki Regeneration offices.

The Tāmaki Redevelopment Company (also known as Tāmaki Regeneration) is a company that is owned by the New Zealand Government (29.5% Bill English, 29.5% Nick Smith) and Auckland Council (41%).

The TRC has sold regeneration and transfers to the community as something that will benefit them. The friendly language used by the TRC does not, however, cover up the pain that the process of state-led gentrification has already caused this community.

Children have disappeared from the school roll, and families that have called Tāmaki home for 50 years have been evicted, their houses demolished. This is the reality that cannot be erased through the friendly brochures of smiling faces delivered by the TRC.

These transfers are a part of the Social Housing Reforms, where the government want to limit their role in housing. Their plan is to move the state housing stock into the private market where charities and private organisations will take over the tenure and management of these properties.

In the United Kingdom, a similar process of transferring council housing to private organisations called Housing Associations, led to privatisation. While these associations were limited in floating shares on the market, there were no barriers placed on increasing market rent and this led to eviction and displacement.

Tāmaki Housing Group fear that these transfers will led to further displacement of state housing tenants and that transfers is a cover for the privatisation of state housing in an area where developers are speculating off land-value increases.

Private organisations and companies should not have control over an essential human right. History has shown that the private market has never been able to provide adequate and affordable housing for low income people.

The Government promised that the redevelopment of Tāmaki would create affordable housing, however since 2011 median house values have increased from $400,000 to nearly $900,000.

Tāmaki is located close to the city, water and surrounding wealthy neighbourhoods such as St. Heliers and Kohimarama, there is no wonder this area is desirable for redevelopment. Developers, facilitated by the state, are profiting from the displacement and destruction of a community.

The Tāmaki Housing Group have been resisting these redevelopments for 5 years and need the support of the rest of the country to fight this mass privatisation which is being experimented in Tāmaki but will be implemented all over Aotearoa.

The rolling protest:

Tuesday 29th March
7am-8:30am outside the TRC
4pm-6pm outside the TRC

Wednesday 30th March
7am-8:30am outside the TRC
4pm-6pm outside the TRC

Thursday 31st March (DAY OF THE TRANSFERS)
Meet at 3pm outside the TRC for a massive protest against these transfers.


ENDS

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