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

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news