Category Archives: Housing

Who Owns NZ Now? – An Exposé of the Housing Crisis by Bryan Bruce

Published on Oct 15, 2017

Analysis of the New Zealand housing crisis and solutions to it by award winning documentary maker Bryan Bruce
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WE ARE ADDING A CITY A YEAR ! HOW IS THIS HELPING OUR HOMELESS ?!

From Carol Sawyer

“According to a Yale University report, New Zealand has the highest proportion of homeless people in the 34-member OECD, with nearly 1 per cent of the country’s population living on the streets or in emergency housing or shelters.
Auckland Council estimates there are nearly 23,000 homeless in the Super City alone.”

Neither Labour nor National are addressing this. Labour says it will build 100,000 more houses – instead of stopping the immigration influx which is contributing to the problem – all because they don’t want to be seen as xenophobic. National just says “Bring them all in ! Money, money, money.”

How can New Zealand manage an annual non-NZ citizen migration influx of 73,500 people per annum ( 2017 ) ?
In 2016 there was a gain of 72,000 non-NZ citizen migrants.
In 2015 it was 60,000.
That is like adding a city bigger than Nelson – EVERY YEAR !

“New Zealand’s population reached an estimated 4,727,000 in October 2016.
The population reached four million for the first time in 2003, assisted by growth in immigration.”

That is an average increase of 52,000 people per annum in the last 14 years.
https://www.theguardian.com/…/new-zealand-immigration-hits-…

 

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The missing homeless & Fema Camps – a balanced overview

Posted in July this year, this is a well balanced overview of what is being done with the homeless in the US, and is there any truth about their disappearance into Fema shelters/camps/detention centers, call them what you will. In light of current events it’s a timely review. We have similar noises being made in NZ with concern at the homeless hanging out in front of people’s businesses and the move to make such activity illegal, along with feeding them. Disturbing trends in my opinion. Since when do we stop caring for those who have nowhere to live? My memory tells me, since neo-liberal economics arrived. I lived through the era when we all cared. Greed & the corporate modus operandi have changed all of that. Take note of where we may be headed.
EnvirowatchRangitikei

Published on Jul 29, 2016

‘Homes For People’ in PN is doing their bit for alleviating homelessness – helping people rent or buy affordable homes

Meet Darren and Cheri Birch of Palmerston North, who created a business building new houses to help alleviate increasing homelessness. These people are putting their money where their mouth is so to speak. Read Stuff’s article & see their interview, plus have a look at their website called https://www.homesforpeople.co.nz/   Brilliant. I know many are now living in WINZ’s very unaffordable & totally insane solution to homelessness … racking up debt living in their ’emergency housing’ … MOTELS! While elsewhere in the country hundreds of state homes are boarded up & empty, many landbanked by your current pretend government.
EnvirowatchRangitikei


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Darren Birch walks by the property on Limbrick St where he is building two Homes for People houses.

Manawatu’s Darren and Cheri Birch have done this.

The lack of affordable housing in New Zealand is something that really concerns them, as does the number of people without a place to call home.

Discussion turned into Homes for People, a Palmerston North-based response to the growing housing need in provincial New Zealand.

It took them five years, but an empty plot of land is about to become six homes.

And those homes, says Darren Birch, will be for people who need them.

“There are people in our community who others look down on for one reason or another and think ‘you should have helped yourself, you should  have made better choices’.

“We are pragmatic about that perception and, for us, that is just an obstacle – it doesn’t have to be the end of the story.”

Homes for People allows a house to be bought through shared equity ownership.

In a nutshell:

* Someone who has been struggling to get on the housing ladder purchases the share of the home they can afford.

* The remainder is owned by Homes for People.

* The mortgage is proportionally smaller than is ordinarily needed to purchase the same property at market value.

READ MORE

https://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/96058685/Action-helps-people-buy-affordable-houses

For more information go to: https://www.homesforpeople.co.nz/

Your Local Housing Association

Homes for People is a locally managed Housing Association:

  • Providing affordable homes for low income households
  • Helping fulfil the Kiwi dream though supported home ownership

Homes for People provides scalable and sustainable models for Kiwis to partner together to increase the accessibility of home ownership within our communities.

Homes for People also exists to develop and enhance social and affordable housing, for those in our community who need supported housing.

Do you have  Expertise, Experience, Equity to contribute? (read more at the site)


Comment from Cheri:

If people go to our Homes for People page there is a place for them to sign up to our regular updates.
We’ve now got some compact homes for sale if anyone wants to enquire. I expect they will go on Trademe this week.

NZ NOW RANKS AT BOTTOM OF DEVELOPED WORLD – thanks Nats, you do us proud

The latest Unicef report has us languishing at the bottom of the developed world in relation to the health and welfare our children and youth. This report was based on the data our government collects and concerningly, with regards to child poverty, a ranking wasn’t provided because of a refusal to follow standard practice (an admission of failure?). In many documented areas we are seriously neglecting our young people (ranking numbers are determined by the data provided from a maximum of 41 developed countries):

  • Child Poverty (41/41?) I consider that we must be by far the worst in the developed world for child poverty when the Government refuses to use the same measures as other countries so that we can be ranked. Our Children’s Commissioner and the Child Poverty Monitor currently state that 14% of our children suffer from material hardship. We have a much higher threshold to determine this and require 7 elements to recognise hardship, while most other countries use only two. The US is ranked 33 out of 37 for child poverty and they have 21% of their children in households living below the poverty threshold. 28% of our children live below the poverty line and 16% live in jobless households, so I would surmise that we could be the worst. We also have the most expensive housing in the world and a homelessness problem that has exploded in recent years. Between 2006 and 2013 homelessness grew by 25% and involved 1% of the population and 53% of our homeless were families with children. Now that shortages have become increasingly pronounced over the four years since then, I would suggest around 2% of the population is now homeless and many more are living in substandard housing. Third world diseases like rheumatic fever are now common place here, and are directly related to housing poverty. New Zealand is clearly too afraid to provide relevant statistics to enable us to be ranked.
  • Teen Suicide (34/34) We are the worst by a great margin. The median number of teen suicides per 1,000 for developed nations is around 7.5, while 15.5 of our 15-19 year olds take their own lives. This is a shocking indictment on the ability of families to support their teens and our severely under-resourced mental health system. I can imagine few developed countries that would lock struggling youth in adult prisons because of a shortage of youth facilities. Those specialised youth facilities that do exist are run like prisons for hardened criminals. Youth prisoners can be locked in their cells for 19 hours a day, which is classified as torture, is emotionally damaging and unlikely to support rehabilitation.

READ MORE

http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2017/06/nz-now-ranks-at-bottom-of-developed.html?spref=fb&m=1

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NZ Pensioner in poverty: living in a caravan to survive

As we all are finding out, District Councils NZ wide, in keeping with the current corporates feeding at the property developers trough,  are selling off the pensioner flats for later profits, and likewise landbanking our state homes. They are by increments dismantling the welfare state. This appears to include stripping the lower income folk of a roof over their heads. This woman, a victim sadly of reduncancies following the 2008 crash (thanks to the corrupt banking system) … has no job and cannot rent at the prices charged in the area her family lives. I know of similar in NZ. A friend of similar age to this woman, in another district is working part time to pay her $350 pwk converted garage!! This is growing into a crime of obscene proportions with folk living in cars or at the behest and debt to WINZ, in motels. Where are their brains (the Govt/corporation I’m talking about). Where is it logical to indebt people to the tune of $85K I read for one woman, when they could have loaned her that amount towards a house,  like they used to once in NZ. Before the banking fraternity moved in and took over. We are rapidly descending into third world status friends. The camping ground owner who has shown mercy to this woman here in the article, says they turn away at least one a day in similar circumstances. Tent cities next is it?

EnvirowatchRangitikei


From RadioNZ

An elderly woman living in the Bay of Plenty says she has no choice but to live in a caravan at a campground, because the pension is not enough to live on.

Lynette Haines, 69, is single and doesn’t own a home – she receives $390 a week through superannuation.

The cheapest liveable rentals available in Tauranga cost around $300 a week, which Ms Haines said would leave her just $90 for essentials, healthcare, and food.

She instead lives in a 3.3 metre caravan – just long enough for an average man to lie down arms stretched overhead – at a campground for $154 a week.

READ MORE

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201858554/pensioner-in-poverty-life-in-a-caravan

The illusion of choice & why the Nats (who usually don’t care about the poor) are welcoming more refugees

From William McGregor
 

Y’ know, we have an election coming up later in the year, and all I seem to hear from the die-hard Kiwis is “National has got to go; Key & his ‘cronies’ have sold us out (to overseas investors)”!
And they’d be right, but there’s a far BIGGER issue going on here, if you take the time to dig deeper! Here’s what I see; this is MY view ….

Politics in Aotearoa has always been between TWO major parties – no different than almost every country in the world; that’s just the way it has ALWAYS been.
Yes – other smaller parties have come (& gone) & they have been more of a DISTRACTION than a help; and they serve to make people feel there ARE other alternatives, but there’s not – there’s left or right, (up or down, in or out) – that’s just how it is!

Third, fourth generation Kiwis have grown tired of the same old record playing the same old song…. we went backwards & forwards – National/Labour, Labour/National and it got to a stage where Labour was looking forward to having their turn again …..

Key did some VERY SERIOUS DAMAGE ….

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Selling out to overseas investors, back-door deals – leaving faster than he came into the political arena; this WASN’T by chance; this is VERY ORCHESTRATED by very POWERFUL PEOPLE, something most can’t BEGIN to understand!

Polls (strategically held in specific areas) have been used by the media to manipulate the masses! If those polls were held in Otara (Auckland), Highbury (Palmerston North) or Aramoho (Whanganui), they would be SO DIFFERENT they wouldn’t be recognizable!

Seventy to eighty thousand immigrants (refugees) a year over the last few years – that wasn’t by chance either! THINK! Those who arrived since 2008, and have applied (& got) voting rights, WHO do you think they would vote for? – the party that brought/allowed them (& their families) here, or the other party?! Straight up …. and they’re PUSHING New Zealanders to take a minimum 50 thousand per annum; they are GUARANTEED VOTES for them (National). Who bites the hand that feeds them?! They (the NEW New Zealanders) would feel OBLIGATED to vote for National; most would see Aotearoa as “Club Med” compared to the countries they came from!

We can’t even accommodate our own, yet the “Government Depts. can’t help our new arrivals enough…. housing/benefits/medical/schooling/employment …. by chance?! – NOT ON YOUR NELLY!

Regardless of party policies, you will ALWAYS go to the ones you feel are your rescuers, and National know this; they RELY on it, and they will play it to the hilt!

And we will let them, because that’s how we roll …

 

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Ask yourself, what do the Nats care about the homeless in NZ, about child poverty, about youth suicide? Under their terms we’ve seen those stats worsen to the point we’re the world’s worst at all of them! And so in that light the above opinion rings very true. Were they truly caring they would also be caring for their own. They’re not. As I repeat regularly, under their watch we have all these dubious stats of shame. They don’t even flinch about it. Business as usual. So the caring motive doesn’t hold water for me. And it’s not about Kiwis not caring for the needs of refugees. I’m sure most us do. The point here is, we’re deep in the mire with 42K homeless. Their doing. I have noticed, Herald’s published an article with the affirmation of no less than four other former NZ PMs on the need to welcome 500 new refugees now.  So four other riders (of the same horse) agree. Very comforting.  EnvirowatchRangitikei

 

The Crown owned Tamaki Regeneration Co. EVICTS 5 grieving children 3 wks after their mother’s death – a not uncommon occurrence we’re told

Since first publishing this, I’ve read several times in social media that this kind of eviction is not uncommon. In a recent post a woman said she has seen a family handed an eviction notice PRIOR to the grieving family’s arrangement of the tāngi of their loved one! This is about as low as one can go. This current post describes the delivery of an eviction notice … and the company has apologized since (having been caught out I suspect) however if there are more experiencing this then it clearly wasn’t a one-off blunder by rogue staff.  Bear in mind also the information that’s come to light from Auckland’s anti corruption activist Penny Bright’s info about the Nats land banking state homes in Tamaki since 2012 to make way for private mansions. If anybody reading this has been similarly evicted, please feel free to add the info (anonymously or otherwise) in comments. Stay tuned as I’ll update this as I hear more.

A young Tamaki family of five aged 12 to 25 were issued an eviction notice with only three weeks to pack up their entire household. This came just three weeks after their mother passed away in their arms following a short illness. The family had lived in their home for ten years. The letter addressed to their mother (then deceased) and hand delivered to the children by the landlord’s employees of Tamaki Housing, who declined the invitation to come in and discuss the notice, is cold hearted and to the point, covering such ‘essentials’ as, leaving the property clean and tidy and emphasizing that other tenants needed the house.

Great stuff Nats. With the devolution of your once caring Housing NZ to this corporate entity, you can really bare your sharp teeth at the bereaved and vulnerable.  Your other corporation WINZ is driving people to suicide. Quite a legacy you’re leaving us.

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Photo/letter credit: RadioNZ, supplied by family

You can read the full story here:

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/336310/children-told-to-leave-state-house-after-mother-s-death

The appalling treatment this family has received at the hands of this company contrasts somewhat from the profile presented on their website that promises to focus on:

“… delivering an innovative tenancy management approach based on supporting successful tenancies and being responsive to social housing tenants’ needs. THA works alongside Tamaki Regeneration Company (TRC) and other partners to make a positive difference to the lives of our tenants.”

You may be interested to know as per above quote, that Tamaki Housing in a Google search comes up alternatively as Tamaki Regeneration:


Contact Us | Tamaki Regeneration

Complaints. Formal complaints must be made in writing, and will be acknowledged within two working days of receipt. TRC will respond to complaints within 15 …


Tamaki Regeneration, Crown owned, featured recently here in an article supplied by Penny Bright, activist and independent candidate for Tamaki.

Tamaki Redevelopment Company Ltd’s Crown Shareholders Nick Smith & Bill English

B. tamaki regen 2.png

Penny outlines the history of this company and its part in what she believes is the gentrification of Tamaki by property developers. She says in effect that Tamaki Regeneration is:

“… forcing poor people – ‘State tenants’ off prime real estate to make way for private mansions for the wealthy … “

In light of what has happened with this family, this appears correct. In her article she outlines the scam regarding the two companies known as Tamaki Redevelopment Company Ltd, and Tamaki Regeneration Ltd. A must read.

Read her article here:

https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/2017/06/17/the-nats-have-been-land-banking-tamaki-state-homes-on-prime-real-estate-since-2012-clearing-out-the-poor-to-make-way-for-private-mansions/

You may also like to read Bryan Bruce’s take on this incident, who first drew my attention to this article. Below the RadioNZ article he posts (that featured here) several people have commented that this treatment of its tenants by Tamaki Housing is not unusual. A common occurrence apparently. They’ve since withdrawn the eviction … for now … cold comfort for these five young people who still have no guarantee they can stay.

In conclusion, all I can say is this is just about as low as any government could go. Remember they (rather the corporation/govt they work for) owns the said housing company. I figured the death of two homeless men in the cold of Auckland’s streets was bad enough … this adds further to the outright ugliness of neo-liberal economics and how it really works for the rich while screwing over the poor. Shame on you Nats.

EnvirowatchRangitikei

 

Charges for three beggars in Napier now withdrawn – well done Napier, fighting poverty creatively

The new norm in ‘fighting poverty’ … charge beggars for asking for help.  The charges are now withdrawn but it highlights the ever growing problem NZ now has & tinkering with sticking plasters isn’t going to fix it.  This modus operandi is about as clever as the Nats who [pretend to] ‘fight homelessness’ by both land banking, and selling homes originally intended for low income Kiwis. Part of the corporate sell-out. Selling out to corporate interests over its own citizens. Why don’t they just call it what it is? See just a few of the 3K empty homes below the Nats have been land banking since 2012, meanwhile 42K are homeless & reduced to begging, sleeping in garages and sheds if they’re ‘lucky’. And in Napier, asking for money. Shame NZ. Shame. Under the Nats’ watch two men have died from exposure to the cold sleeping rough. Let’s face it Kiwis, we’re now top of the homelessness, child poverty & youth suicide stats for the developed world. Three dubious honours of which the Nats must be super proud. Their neo-liberal economic package is working. Key did say he was working for NZ, he just failed to mention which tiny percentage of.

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12 of the land banked state homes empty since 2012 courtesy of your esteemed leaders Kiwis who continue to ignore the 42K sleeping rough

Three beggars in Napier charged over breaking council bylaw by asking for money

From tvnz

Local councils across the country will be watching closely next month as Napier City Council has taken action over three beggars in the city asking for money.

The council has taken action charging three beggars with breaching a council bylaw that forbid them from soliciting for money without permission.

All three have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

While other councils have taken beggars to court for being disorderly or causing a public nuisance, this is the first time they have been charged with simply asking for money.

Natasha Carswell from Napier City Council explained: “We do not have a bylaw that counters begging specifically.

“What we want to address is the behaviour that is causing the issue rather than the begging itself.”

READ MORE

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/three-beggars-in-napier-charged-over-breaking-council-bylaw-asking-money-v1

 

Charges now Withdrawn

newshub.co.nz

Police have dropped charges against three beggars who were charged with breaching a bylaw that forbids soliciting for money without permission.

Napier City Council’s manager of community strategies Natasha Carswell told The AM Show the bylaw had been used in the past for people busking and doing street appeals, not for begging.

She said police interpreted the bylaw “as they did”, but it isn’t how Council want it used.

http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2017/07/police-drop-charges-against-napier-beggars.html

NZ tops list of developed countries with most homeless – thanks National you do us proud

Well congratulations Nat government/corporation, you’ve now put us on another dubious ‘honour’ list. Most homeless? Two homeless gentlemen recently dying in the winter cold even. Highest youth suicide. Highest child poverty. Well done John Key. Well done Bill English. You do us proud. What next are we going to excel in?

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Photo Credit: with thanks Penny Bright

Who next can you simply kick to the curb with your boot that’s looking increasingly fascist these days? Twenty billion to weapons and war, and only one to housing? Whilst you land bank our state homes, 42K people sleep in tents, garages and cars. Your monetary priorities say it all. You’ve ushered in neo-liberalism on steroids. You’ve trashed not only the people but the environment as well. And what use is any economy with neither of those?

NZ tops list of developed countries with most homeless

Social Housing Minister Amy Adams is rejecting an American University survey that puts New Zealand at the top of a list of developed countries for homelessness.

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Yale University has released a list of developed countries ranked on the number of homeless people per capita – which has New Zealand at the top, followed by the Czech Republic and Australia.

It found about 40,000 people are either living on the street, in emergency housing, or shelter considered sub-standard.

The report does note that getting an accurate picture of homeless is challenging, because many countries define homelessness in different ways.

Ms Adams said the findings should be treated with a high degree of caution, as the survey did not have consistent comparisons from country to country.

“They’re not comparing apples with apples and to suggest that is our number of homeless is quite wrong.”

READ MORE

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/335556/nz-tops-list-of-developed-countries-with-most-homeless