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Mike's Minute: Govt housing failures continue to pile up

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 14 Jul 2022, 9:57AM

Mike's Minute: Govt housing failures continue to pile up

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 14 Jul 2022, 9:57AM

I get the impression that the part that Megan Woods doesn’t get about the monstrous debt Kainga Ora is taking on to build their social housing dream is several fold.

One, they will never meet demand. The queue is 27,000 long and growing. They will never build at the rate they need to. They don’t have the manpower. They don’t have the money.

The point she made on the programme yesterday that was fair was that, yes, the debt is massive, but so is the asset. And by-in-large houses grow in value.

Second mistake is the Government doesn’t need to be the only player in social housing. Social agencies and private landlords are part of the equation but because they have been locked out, the Government is left as the sole operator in the market.

You have to ask yourself the bigger question. Just what is the value to the country of having tens of thousands of houses owned by the state? What sort of state is it we are wanting?

Thirdly, the fact the Government don’t turn the houses over is a moral, social, and financial crime. Not booting people out when they trash the house or the neighbourhood is shocking. And not having a criterion at day one, where the house, at best, is temporary to see you through tough times is a gargantuan mistake.

It is through these ideological mistakes that they have hamstrung themselves into this nightmare of being unable to build at a rate to meet demand. They have created the demand. They have created their own nightmare.

Fourth mistake, money would be vastly better spent elsewhere. We don’t need a sea of state-owned houses. We need nurses, roads, bridges, reliable power, lower taxes, and better schools.

At some point people have to work out they can make their own decisions in their own lives and welfare, which is all state housing is, is a last resort, not a lifestyle option.

Unless, of course, this is what the Government actually wants. They want to be in your life. They want you beholden to them, not unlike Working for Families.

If they have enough voters at their mercy for their wages, for their housing, maybe you are not voting against that? Maybe their utopia is suburbs full of government infrastructure with a captured population?

Or maybe what they thought they could do versus what they actually can and are doing are two completely different things?

The streets of motels are the out-workings of yet another theory having blown up in their face.

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