Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Visiting UK housing expert provides hard-edged perspective

Futurebuiltnz - Media Release – 3 November 2012

Visiting UK housing expert provides hard-edged perspective on housing crisis

Following closely on the Government’s response to housing affordability issues in New Zealand, a visiting expert on social and affordable housing has suggested that the overall crisis in the housing market won’t change until attitudes to property change.

Mike Newey, a chief executive of the mid-sized Broadland Housing Association of 5,000 properties in Norfolk, was visiting Wellington in his capacity as Vice President of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, and is regarded as a leading figure in social and affordable housing in England.

In a wide ranging presentation to the annual meeting of New Zealand’s peak body for charitable housing providers, Community Housing Aotearoa, Mr Newey firstly covered factors affecting the housing market in England such as the dramatic mortgage lending collapse, and a familiar story of housing unaffordability being played out against an era of pronounced austerity measures.

“Austerity (measures are) having an undermining effect and I currently have 40 members of my staff dedicated just to coping with welfare reforms,” said Mr Newey. “When I see headlines in the likes of the Daily Express stirring up outrage at a simplistic correlation between the number of people in subsidized housing who are on welfare benefits I despair. It makes as much sense as a headline that says ‘Outrage: 75% of people in hospital are ill’!’”

Mr Newey described a shift that is occurring towards higher rents under a rubric of affordable renting, and the difficulties for his sector of operating under a tough and unsustainable model. At the same time he affirmed the large scale role played by housing associations and the fact that they offer a rare combination of rent certainty, regulatory safety and mutual support that is attractive to banks. “No housing association has ever been left to default on a loan, besides which housing is good for economic stimulus”.

The housing approach followed at Broadlands Housing Association entails a sharp focus on property management for the long haul (ignoring open market values by valuing social housing on its own terms), a commitment to energy efficiency to combat fuel poverty, an emphasis on improving life opportunities through housing and support provision, and ensuring residents are given a full role in governance of the association, with tenants holding a third of director positions.

The topic of whether the New Zealand Government’s response to the Productivity Commission report on housing affordability is going to conflate the private rental and non-private sectors, without expanding genuine social housing, was a key topic for a preceding workshop held by Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) yesterday.

With the financial viability of CHA currently in question, the workshop focused on its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats from the point of view of members and longtime supporters. An agreement was reached to undertake an urgent internal review alongside securing a memorandum of understanding with the new Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and more data gathering from its 53 members.

The consensus at the meeting was that the Government’s social housing reforms are dependent, at least in part, on a strong community housing sector, that CHA has gained ground and that it can, in the words of Lisa Woolley of Auckland’s Vision West Community Trust, “step up further”.

Outgoing CHA council member Annette Sutherland noted the political advantage the sector offers to the Government as a safe pair of hands. “In the end the private sector want a profit and they’ll get it. We’re going for a dividend, a social profit”.

Fellow council member Sheryl Connell reiterated that for CHA “social housing isn’t about the house, it’s about the home and what’s happening in the home and community for the people who live there. That’s our core value”.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Digital Evolution: Scoop Independent News Launches "Operation Chrysalis"

From today Scoop is beginning a process of public consultation with the political, business and civil society groups it has served for the past 15 and a half years.

"It is hoped that in time - with new leadership and increased community engagement - the chrysalis will incubate a new kind of Scoop, one which can sustainably continue Scoop's Mission 'to be an agent of positive change'", says Scoop Founder, Editor and Publisher Alastair Thompson.

"As big publishing shrivels, public participation in contributing and spreading news has grown. Scoop has evolved with this wave by providing an independent platform, committed to upholding democracy, providing a voice to all, and providing the public easy access to information about decisions which affect them." More>>

 

Parliament Adjourns:

Greens: CAA Airport Door Report Conflicts With Brownlee’s Claims

The heavily redacted report into the incident shows conflicting versions of events as told by Gerry Brownlee and the Christchurch airport security staff. The report disputes Brownlee’s claim that he was allowed through, and states that he instead pushed his way through. More>>

ALSO:

TAIC: Final Report On Grounding Of MV Rena

Factors that directly contributed to the grounding included the crew:
- not following standard good practice for planning and executing the voyage
- not following standard good practice for navigation watchkeeping
- not following standard good practice when taking over control of the ship. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On The Pakistan Schoolchildren Killings

The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between sections of the Pakistan military/security establishment on one hand and sections of the Taliban of the other… More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire:
The Politician’s Song

am a perfect picture of the modern politic-i-an:
I don’t precisely have a plan so much as an ambition;
‘Say what will sound most pleasant to the public’ is my main dictum:
And when in doubt attack someone who already is a victim More>>

ALSO:

Flight: Review Into Phillip Smith’s Escape Submitted To Government

The review follows an earlier operational review by the Department of Corrections and interim measures put in place by the Department shortly after prisoner Smith’s escape, and will inform the Government Inquiry currently underway. More>>

ALSO:

Intelligence: Inspector-General Accepts Apology For Leak Of Report

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August 2011 to media prior to its publication. The Inspector-General will not take the matter any further. More>>

ALSO:

Drink: Alcohol Advertising Report Released

The report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship has been released today, with Ministers noting that further work will be required on the feasibility and impact of the proposals. More>>

ALSO:

Other Report:

Leaked Cabinet Papers: Treasury Calls For Health Cuts

Leaked Cabinet papers that show that Government has been advised to cut the health budget by around $200 million is ringing alarm bells throughout the nursing and midwifery community. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news