State Housing matters

State housing [APN]All state house tenants, regardless of age or disability, will find themselves subject to the government’s new policy of reviewing state house tenancies.

### NZ Herald Online 11:45 AM Wednesday Mar 19, 2014
Elderly, disabled included in state house review
By Simon Collins
More than one in five of the first 780 state house tenants facing possible eviction under a new Government policy will be elderly or disabled. A paper taken to Cabinet last month by Housing Minister Nick Smith and Social Development Minister Paula Bennett reveals that the two ministers have decided not to exempt the elderly and disabled from the new policy of reviewing all state house tenancies, ending the previous policy that a state house was “a home for life”.
The full paper, placed on the Social Development Ministry website last week included a detailed breakdown showing that 20 per cent of the first batch of tenants to be reviewed would be 65 or over and 27 others would be “permanently and severely disabled”. The paper was later removed and an edited version was subsequently posted with the breakdown of affected tenants deleted.
The controversial policy is intended to “shift expectations away from social housing for life to social housing for the duration of housing need”. It takes effect after the Social Development Ministry takes over allocating social housing from Housing NZ on April 14, and the first affected tenants will be notified before the end of next month.
Read more

Cabinet paper on state house tenancies

### ODT Online Tue, 18 Mar 2014
Fewer Kiwis own their own homes
The number of homeowners in New Zealand continues to fall, with less than half of all Kiwis owning their own property, new Census figures show. In 2013, 49.8 per cent of people aged 15 years and over owned or partly owned the home they lived in, compared with 53.2 per cent in 2006, according to census results released by Statistics New Zealand today. 2013 Census Quickstats about housing, which contains detailed information about New Zealand’s housing stock, also reveals trends in the number, type, and size of the dwellings we are living in. APNZ
Read more

2013 Census QuickStats about national highlights

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: APN – State Housing


Filed under Architecture, Business, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

16 responses to “State Housing matters

  1. Ray Yeah Right

    This is what happens when the state gets too involved in housing. What the state giveth it can removeth

  2. John P.Evans, concerned citizen

    Your taxes do not pay for roads, care for the aged and infirm, hospitals, aged care, etc etc.

    They pay for administrators of companies determined to deny your rights and expectancies.

    The sooner New Zealand becomes a corrupt country where the expense of achieving anything (but certainty guaranteed) is merely baksheesh, the better we will be.

  3. Peter

    Next step? Euthanise the elderly and disabled? They are such a drain on the national purse. Paula would know. She used to be in a former life.


    Radio New Zealand National
    Sunday Morning with Wallace Chapman

    Sunday 30 March 2014

    8:12 Insight: Auckland’s Housing Crisis – A Year of Change?
    The shortage and cost of housing in Auckland remains one of its biggest challenges. This year, a raft of new policies and initiatives will begin to bear fruit. They include new technology and designs aimed to create lower-cost, more affordable homes. There is also the fast-tracking of consents in the Special Housing Areas created by the Government and Auckland Council. But can these initiatives change the direction of Auckland’s housing market, or will rising interest rates and restrictions on lending soften their effectiveness? Radio New Zealand’s Auckland Correspondent, Todd Niall, weighs up the possibly conflicting forces at work.
    Audio | Download: Ogg   MP3 (28:02)

    8:40 Bill McKay – State Houses
    New Zealand’s state houses from the 1930s and 1940s were built modestly and built to last. They symbolised egalitarian values, and the importance of family and community. Bill McKay talks to Wallace about the enduring value of state houses.
    Audio | Download: Ogg   MP3 (21:45)

    Bill McKay - State Houses []
    Beyond the State, written by Bill McKay and Andrea Stevens, with photographs by Simon Devitt, is published by Penguin.

  5. Audio links added to previous comment.

  6. Just in from Aalto Books (Auckland).

    Beyond the State: New Zealand State Houses from Modest to Modern
    By Bill McKay, Andrea Stevens & Simon Devitt

    Beyond the State (bookcover)Beyond the State, a long overdue study into probably New Zealand’s largest housing stock and ubiquitous style, makes a huge contribution to our knowledge of social housing history. Thoroughly researched, very well written and beautifully photographed its generous 288 pages are crammed with information on the original concepts, how they developed as demographics changed and how they are now been adapted to modern living requirements. Read below for a comprehensive description of the book.

    John Balasoglou

    Published by Penguin, March 2014, hardback, 27x24cms, 288pages, 9780143570653

    “State houses have become an element of Kiwiana and it is easy to get nostalgic about them. Yet the real story behind their evolution is an interesting one, and state houses are a neglected aspect of our architectural history.” –Bill McKay, co-author of Beyond the State.

    Beyond the State pays tribute to the New Zealand state house – and explores what it still offers us today – in words and photographs. This stunning hardback book is a timely and overdue celebration of one of our unsung national treasures, strikingly captured through the lens of renowned architecture photographer Simon Devitt.

    After 75 years the state house remains an enduring symbol of New Zealand’s egalitarian values. The legacy of these distinctive, ‘box-like’ houses from the 1930s and 1940s is an architectural style that promotes simplicity, quality and community; values that remain relevant to house design today. Beyond the State is the story of New Zealand’s state houses: from their genesis under the Liberal Government of the late 1800s through to the mass-produced kitset houses built by the Railways Department in the 1920s, and on to the heyday of the state house in the 1930s and 1940s.

    In the 1930s New Zealand was a young, growing nation in need of a radical solution to its housing shortage. The Government’s concerns were shared by businessman and construction magnate James Fletcher; particularly the conundrum of how to replace inner-city slum dwellings. The solution was a mixture of styles and influences. Many state house designs were derived from English Garden City cottages; other influences included major architectural movements of the time such as Modernism, Art Deco and the Georgian Revival style. However, stylistic variations were subtle and did not significantly change as one decade segued into another.

    Generally single-storey, efficient in plan and constructed from quality native timber clad in weatherboards, stucco or brick, with tiled roofs and casement windows, these typically five-room dwellings were built solidly. The main living area was oriented north to capture maximum sunshine and as much as possible the bedrooms and kitchen to the east side. Bathroom and laundry were generally grouped together, and in a major advance, the toilet was located inside. Today, state houses are enjoying a renaissance as new owners find ways to adapt their sturdy form for a more contemporary way of living.

    Beyond the State explores 14 state houses in almost original condition from all over New Zealand, including Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Napier and Palmerston North, and how their owners have lovingly restored and renovated them without compromising the integrity of the original design. Changes, whether radical or moderate, have enhanced the house and created spaces that flow between the interior and exterior. Where possible, the architectural plans for the state houses under review are included at the end of the book, providing a comparison between the original and modernised home.

    Beyond the State is divided into two parts, each authored by an architectural writer. In Part One, academic and architectural historian Bill McKay introduces the book and tells the story of the state house, placing it in historical context and revealing fascinating, often little known facts about one of New Zealand’s most prevalent architectural styles. In Part Two, architectural writer Andrea Stevens assesses the state house today by looking at 14 state houses and how their owners have adapted to modern-day living within them.


  7. Elizabeth

    John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister

    “The Housing NZ portfolio is worth $15.1 billion and is described in official documents as the Government’s second largest asset.” –Annette King, Labour’s acting deputy leader

    ### ODT Online Sat, 1 Nov 2014
    State houses on the chopping block
    Thousands of state houses could be put on the market despite the Government earlier ruling out selling off more state assets after this year’s general election. Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett told TV3’s The Nation today that while thousands of houses could be sold, Housing New Zealand would remain the dominant force in providing social housing for the country. APNZ
    Read more

  8. Elizabeth

    Mr Key said the Government had commissioned a strategic review of Housing New Zealand.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 28 Jan 2015
    Key reveals state house plan
    By Audrey Young – NZ Herald
    Prime Minister John Key has set out plans to expand the provision of social housing which could see up to 8000 state houses sold by 2017 and up to 5000 better-off state tenants moved out to make way for needier cases. The plan could see tenanted state houses sold to approved community housing providers or iwi at a discount rate so long as the houses remained as subsidised rentals. Mr Key foreshadowed more large redevelopments such as that happening in Tamaki where social housing is provided alongside private affordable housing. NZME.
    Read more

  9. Elizabeth

    Mr Key has been very careful to avoid the mention of the private sector buying up state homes, referring to prospective buyers as social housing providers.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 29 Jan 2015
    Editorial: Social housing conundrum
    […] Changing the name of state housing to social housing will do nothing to appease the critics of any privatisation of what many see as a core government function – providing a home to the needy. There is inherently nothing wrong with private enterprise supplying social housing, as long as rules are followed. Mr Key has a tight timetable to implement the plan and ensure social housing does not turn into a social disaster.
    Read more


    ### January 29, 2015 – 7:10pm
    Social housing issues coming to a head
    Properties in Dunedin are likely to be sold as part of a newly-announced government state house sell-off. That’s prompted criticism from Dunedin South MP Clare Curran, who’s slammed the move as short-sighted. And it seems other issues around social housing may be coming to a head.

  10. Elizabeth

    John Key is promising more people will be accommodated in social housing over the next three years.

    ### NZ Herald Online 5:00 AM Thursday Jan 29, 2015
    ‘Market’ swept under social housing rug
    By John Armstrong
    OPINION One particular word was noticeable by its absence from the Prime Minister’s speech yesterday detailing his Government’s complex and contentious plan for the future of what National now calls “social” housing rather than state housing. That word is “market”. That officials from the Treasury and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment talk endlessly in papers prepared for Cabinet ministers of the need to construct a “market” for social housing obviously gives John Key the heebie-jeebies – and, quite possibly, his new Minister of Social Housing, Paula Bennett, as well. Like Key, she realises “market” is now a very dirty word in politics. It carries highly negative connotations. It jogs people’s memories of National’s asset sales. It suggests National is putting profit first and the needs of the poorest members of society a long way second.
    Read more

  11. Elizabeth

    Govt in talks with other parties, including property developers and people with property finance experience.

    ### ODT Online Mon, 23 Mar 2015
    Sallies reject Housing NZ ‘mess’
    Source: NZ Herald
    The Salvation Army has decided against buying state homes off the Government, a blow the Labour Party says is “hugely embarrassing”.
    The decision came after a study to test its capacity to become a major social housing landlord. […] However, the Sallies would be keen to pursue any other models of housing partnerships, carried out in more of a consortium approach.
    Read more

    Sale of state houses (via NZ Herald)
    November: Prime Minister John Key announces possible state house sale to community groups.
    January 28: Prime Minister confirms plans.
    February: Salvation Army releases State of Nation report; reveals 4000 houses short.
    March 23: Salvation Army turns down opportunity to negotiate transfer of Housing NZ stock.

  12. Elizabeth

    Thu, 30 Jun 2016
    ODT: Govt failing Dunedin over state houses – Curran
    The waiting list for a Dunedin state house is the longest it has been in two years as Housing New Zealand looks to sell 36 properties in the city. Ministry of Social Development (MSD) figures showed that as of March 31, 75 people in the Dunedin area were on the state house waiting list.

  13. Diane Yeldon

    Living on the sea? Looks as if, as time passes, this will become financially viable. Is already technically possible. I wonder if this is an area where Otago University could lead research and whether Dunedin is a city which could try this out.
    Here are some more imaginative ideas:

  14. Diane Yeldon

    Actually, would make pretty cool student accommodation.

  15. Elizabeth

    Thu, 14 Jul 2016
    ODT Editorial: ‘Affordable’ housing
    OPINION It is a sad state when political leaders talk about “affordable” housing costing only $500,000 to $600,000 in Auckland and Queenstown. When the cost of an average home climbs towards $1 million and land is scarce, that is the way it is. An “affordable” $500,000 house at a 20% deposit would require a $100,000 in capital. At 5%, an interest-only mortgage would cost another $20,000 a year (or $385 a week). Is it little wonder home ownership in those centres is becoming the preserve of double professional income earners? Is it surprising home ownership rates are slipping away?

    Even in an era of investors/speculators buying for capital gain, prices do become reflected in rent, and those on lower-paid jobs are priced out of even the rental market.

    The Government is then forced to subsidise rents for many lower-income families and individuals, and taxes make it possible for some to live in such places, thereby – in effect – subsidising employers. The Government now says it spends $2 billion a year on housing subsidies. The focus on the housing crisis, and it is a crisis, however the Government chooses to describe it, clearly has senior ministers concerned, as evidenced by their flaying around with policies. At the moment a new one seems to be introduced just about every week…..

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